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Gita Society of Belgium 

Branch of International Gita Society (IGS/USA) 
© 2001-2012 

Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiva 

Written and also arranged from various manuscripts and articles by 
Philippe L. De Coster, B.Th., D.D. 

Gita Satsang Ghent, Belgium 

© November 2012 - Philippe L. De Coster, Ghent, Belgium 

(Non commercial, for personal and satsang use only) 

Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiva 

Review along the author's two E-books: Shiva Devotion and Meditation As 
It Is; and, Shiva The Destroyer and the Restorer, A Study in 
Psychosynthesis and Meditation, both published on Scribd and Internet 

In the twenty-first century, the image of Shiva Nataraja has become popularised 
and repurposed across the globe. There is a natural tension when such a 
powerful deity in Hindu belief is brought into new secular contexts. People 
worldwide are seeing Nataraja through a multitude of lenses — commercial, 
personal, scientific, and artistic — and finding deep but differing meanings. 

One striking example has its roots in twentieth-century physics. After physicist 
Fritjof Capra's book The Tao of Physics was published in 1975, Shiva Nataraja 
became a symbol of the movement of matter in the pattern of creation and 
destruction. A large sculpture of Nataraja stands outside the European Centre for 

Research in Particle Physics (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, underlining the 
link between cosmic forces and subatomic matter. In this context, Nataraja is 
also a political symbol for India's contribution to the sciences. 

Along with appearing as a popular image on merchandise, Nataraja has been 
reinterpreted by artists to address issues in today's global society. Israeli artist 
Izhar Patkin, for example, created a glass sculpture fusing the deity with 
Brazilian entertainer Carmen Miranda and African-American performer 
Josephine Baker. The work, titled "Where Each is Both", explores the 
confluences of these three figures as dancers and as boundary-crossers, creating 
and destroying on cosmic and human scales. 

Indian- American graphic designer Sanjay Patel has depicted Nataraja in his 
unique illustration style, which is partly inspired by Japanese cartoons and 
comics. His brightly colored, two-dimensional deities sport large heads, big 
eyes, and stubby limbs. In his collection of illustrations and information on the 
Hindu pantheon, The Little Book of Hindu Deities, Patel uses this style to bring a 
deliberate playfulness to the exploration of Hindu gods and epics. 

LORD SHIVA is the Father of all that is was and Shall be, he is Creator 
Preserver and Destroyer, the Great Lord Of Immortality giver of Immortality, 
Supreme Conciousness. Representing male divinity, He is Rudra Lord of the 
sky. Lord Shiva's Holy day of the week is monday and Holy day of month 
according to the lunar calendar is the fourteenth day of the dark half of the 
month usually the eve of the new moon, known as Masa Shivaratri and ofcourse 
Lord Shiva's great Festival Maha Shivaratri on the fourteenth day of the dark 
half of the month in the Hindu Month of Phalguna usually febuary or march on 
the western calendar. Lord shiva is Propritiated for Healing, Cleansing, for 
stimulating the third eye, and for wisdom as he is the great teacher 

Shiva (or Siva ) is one of the chief deities of Hinduism. His name means 
"Auspicious One." Devotees of Shiva are called " Saivites ." Shiva is known by 
many other names, including Sambhu ("Benignant"), Samkara ("Beneficent"), 
Pasupati ("Lord of Beasts"), Mahesa ("Great Lord") and Mahadeva ("Great 

Shiva is a paradoxical deity: "both the destroyer and the restorer, the great 
ascetic and the symbol of sensuality, the benevolent herdsman of souls and the 
wrathful avenger." In the most famous myth concerning Shiva, he saves 
humanity by holding in his throat the poison that churned up in the waters and 
threatened mankind. For this reason he is often depicted with a blue neck. 

In the Vedas, shiva is an aspect of the god Rudra, not a separate god. However, a 
joint form Rudra-Shiva appears in early household rites, making Shiva one of 
the most ancient Hindu gods still worshipped today. By the 2nd century BCE, 
Rudra's significance began to wane and Shiva rose in popularity as a separate 

In the Ramayana, Shiva is a mighty and personal god, and in the Mahabharata 
he is the equal of Vishnu and worshipped by other gods. Shiva became 
associated with generation and destruction; sometimes fulfilling the role of 
Destroyer along with Vishnu (the Preserver) and Brahma (the Creator) and 
sometimes embodying all three roles within himself. 

In the Mahadeva image in the Elephanta caves (on an island off of Bombay), 
which dates to between the 5th and 7th centuries CE, Shiva is shown in his 
threefold form. This triple aspect of Shiva, which has become a dominant form, 
is rich with symbolism: 

Shiva's female consort is variously manifested as Uma, Sati, Parvati, Durga, 
Kali, and sometimes Shakti. Their sons are Skanda, the god of war, and the 
beloved elephant-headed Ganesh, remover of obstacles. 

Shiva is especially associated with the Ganges River, which flows through his 
hair in images, and Mount Kailasa in the Himalayas. 

Shiva's symbols are the bull and the linga . The latter symbol is historically 
associated with the phallus, but is not generally perceived as such by worshipers. 
Other depictions of Shiva have his hair in matted locks and piled atop his head 
like an ascetic and adorned with the crescent moon and the Ganges River 
(according to legend, he broke the Ganga's fall to earth by allowing her to trickle 
through his hair). 

The Shiva Lingam is normally a naturally occurring stone formation or a man- 
made stone sculpture, usually on a square or circular mounting, that is treated as 
a powerful symbolic object in the Hindu faith. The structure is cylindrical with 
either a flat or rounded top and is a common feature in Hindu temples, where it 
is worshiped for its association with the deity Shiva. Hindus believe that the 
Shiva Lingam possesses metaphysical powers — qualities inherent to the object 
but not traceable to its physical substance. 

Male Energy 

The form of the stone itself — strongly phallic in shape — is meant to suggest an 
inherent, if undetectable, masculine energy. It is believed that the hot-tempered 


nature associated with the god Shiva is manifested in the volatile energy of the 
stone itself. Large Shiva Lingam structures are therefore often bathed in water 
and sandalwood paste to calm this energy prior to worship. 

Female Energy 

The base of the Shiva Lingam is shaped like a yoni, a symbol suggestive of both 
the female reproductive organ and the female divinity that is the origin of life. 
Carvings and markings on the stone are also said to contain divine female 
energy. The fact that this feminine symbol underlies the strongly masculine 
stone results in the metaphysical ability of the stone to be a force of balance, 
unifying opposing energies. 

Healing Properties 

Another property attributed to Shiva Lingam is a healing force that derives from 
a cosmic or universal source. As a result, some believers in alternative healing 
methods, related to the ancient concept of chakras or subtle energy centers, 
purchase and wear small Shiva Lingam amulets and pendants as jewelry. In 
particular, polished stones gathered from the Narmada River in India are 
believed to be potent with metaphysical healing powers. 

Shiva the Hindu god of destruction is also known as Nataraja , the Lord of 
Dancers (In Sanskrit, Nata means dance and raja means Lord). The visual image 
of Nataraja achieved canonical form in the bronzes cast under the Chola dynasty 
in the 10th century AD, and then continued to be reproduced in metal, stone and 
other substances right up to the present times. The Chola Nataraja is often said 
to be the supreme statement of Hindu art. 

The Sanskrit word "Shiva" is an adjective meaning kind, friendly, gracious, or 
auspicious. As a proper name it means "The Auspicious One", used as a 
euphemistic name for Rudra. In simple English transliteration it is written either 
as Shiva or Siva. In English it is pronounced as - eiva (IPA). The adjective Shiva 
meaning "auspicious" is used as an attributive epithet not particularly of Rudra, 
but of several other Vedic deities. In the Rig Veda, Indra uses this word to 
describe himself several times. (2:20:3, 6:45:17, 8:93:3) 

The Sanskrit word saiva means "relating to the god Shiva", and this term is the 
Sanskrit name both for one of the principal sects of Hinduism, and for a member 
of one of those sects. It is used as as adjective to characterize certain beliefs and 
practices, such as Shaivism. 

There is an interesting legend behind the conception of Shiva as Nataraja. In a 
dense forest in South India, there dwelt multitudes of heretical sages. Thither 


proceeded Shiva to confute them, accompanied by Vishnu disguised as a 
beautiful woman. The sages were at first led to violent dispute amongst 
themselves, but their anger was soon directed against Shiva, and they 
endeavoured to destroy him by means of incantations. A fierce tiger was created 
in sacrificial fires, and rushed upon him; but smiling gently, he seized it and, 
with the nail of his little finger, stripped off its skin, and wrapped it about 
himself like a silken cloth. Undiscouraged by failure, the sages renewed their 
offerings, and produced a monstrous serpent, which however Shiva seized and 
wreathed about his neck like a garland. Then he began to dance; but there rushed 
upon him a last monster in the shape of a malignant dwarf. Upon him the god 
pressed the tip of his foot, and broke the creatures back, so that it writhed upon 
the ground; and so, his last foe prostrate, Shiva resumed the dance. 

To understand the concept of Nataraja we have to understand the idea of dance 
itself. Like yoga, dance induces trance, ecstasy and the experience of the divine. 
In India consequently, dance has flourished side by side with the terrific 
austerities of the meditation grove (fasting, absolute introversion etc.). Shiva, 
therefore, the arch-yogi of the gods, is necessarily also the master of the dance. 

Shiva Nataraja was first represented thus in a beautiful series of South Indian 
bronzes dating from the tenth and twelfth centuries A.D. In these images, 
Nataraja dances with his right foot supported by a crouching figure and his left 
foot elegantly raised. A cobra uncoils from his lower right forearm, and the 
crescent moon and a skull are on his crest. He dances within an arch of flames. 
This dance is called the Dance of Bliss (anandatandava). 

These iconographic details of Nataraja are to be read, according to the Hindu 
tradition, in terms of a complex pictorial allegory. The most common figures 
depict a four-armed Shiva. These multiple arms represent the four cardinal 
directions. Each hand either holds an object or makes a specific mudra (gesture). 

The upper right hand holds a hour-glass drum which is a symbol of creation. It is 
beating the pulse of the universe. The drum also provides the music that 
accompanies Shivas dance. It represents sound as the first element in an 
unfolding universe, for sound is the first and most pervasive of the elements. 
The story goes that when Shiva granted the boon of wisdom to the ignorant 
Panini (the great Sanskrit grammarian), the sound of the drum encapsulated the 
whole of Sanskrit grammar. The first verse of Paninis grammar is in fact called 
Shiva sutra. 

The hour-glass drum also represents the male and female vital principles; two 
triangles penetrate each other to form a hexagon. When they part, the universe 

also dissolves. The opposite hand, the upper left, bears on its palm a tongue of 
flames. Fire is the element of destruction of the world. According to Hindu 
mythology at the end of the world, it will be fire that will be the instrument of 
annihilation. Thus in the balance of these two hands is illustrated a counterpoise 
of creation and destruction. Sound against flames, ceaselessness of production 
against an insatiate appetite of extermination. 

The second right hand is held in the abhaya (literally "without fear") pose and so 
a gesture of protection, as an open palm is most likely to be interpreted. It 
depicts the god as a protector. 

The left leg is raised towards the right leg and reaches across it; the lower left 
hand is stretched across the body and points to the upraised left foot which 
represents release from the cycle of birth and death. Interestingly, the hand 
pointing to the uplifted foot is held in a pose imitative of the outstretched trunk 
of an elephant. In Sanskrit this is known as the gaja-hasta-mudra (the posture of 
the elephant trunk), and is symbolic of Ganesha, Shivas son, the Remover of 

Shiva dances on the body of a dwarf apasmara-purusha (the man of 
forgetfulness) who embodies indifference, ignorance and laziness. Creation, 
indeed all creative energy is possible only when the weight of inertia (the 
tamasic darkness of the universe) is overcome and suppressed. The Nataraja 
image thus addresses each individual to overcome complacency and get his or 
her own act together. 

The ring of fire and light, which circumscribes the entire image, identifies the 
field of the dance with the entire universe. The lotus pedestal on which the 
image rests locates this universe in the heart or consciousness of each person. 

The Nataraja image is also eloquent of the paradox of Eternity and Time. It 
shows us that the reposeful ocean and the racing stream are not finally distinct. 
This wonderful lesson can be read in the significant contrast of the incessant, 
triumphant motion of the swaying limbs to the balance of the and the immobility 
of the mask-like countenance. Shiva is Kala, meaning time, but he is also Maha 
Kala, meaning Great Time or eternity. As Nataraja, King of dancers, his 
gestures, wild and full of grace, precipitate the cosmic illusion; his flying arms 
and legs and the swaying of his torso produce the continuous creation- 
destruction of the universe, death exactly balancing birth. The choreography is 
the whirligig of time. History and its ruins, the explosion of suns, are flashes 
from the tireless swinging sequence of the gestures. In the beautiful cast metal 
figurines, not merely a single phase or movement, but the entirety of this cosmic 

dance is miraculously rendered. The cyclic rhythm, flowing on and on in the 
unstayable, irreversible round of the Mahayugas, or Great Eons, is marked by 
the beating and stamping of the Masters heels. But the face remains, meanwhile 
in sovereign calm. 

Steeped in quietude, the enigmatic mask resides above the whirl of the four 
resilient arms and cares nothing forthe superb legs as they beat out the tempo of 
the world ages. Aloof, in sovereign silence, the mask of gods eternal essence 
remains unaffected by the tremendous display of his own energy, the world and 
its progress, the flow and the changes of time. This head, this face, this mask, 
abides in transcendental isolation, as a spectator unconcerned. Its smile, bent 
inward, filled with the bliss of self-absorption, subtly refutes, with a scarcely 
hidden irony, the meaningful gestures of the feet and hands. A tension exists 
between the marvel of the dance and the serene tranquillity of this expressively 
inexpressive countenance, the tension, that is to say, of Eternity and Time. The 
two, invisible and visible, are quintessentially the same. Man with all the fibers 
of his native personality clings to the duality; nevertheless, actually and finally, 
there is no duality. 

Another aspect of Nataraja rich in a similar symbolism is his lengthy and 
sensuous hair. The long tresses of his matted hair, usually piled up in a kind of 
pyramid, loosen during the triumphant, violent frenzy of his untiring dance. 
Expanding, they form two wings, to the right and left, a kind of halo, 
broadcasting, as it were, on their magic waves, the exuberance and sanctity of 
vegetative, sensuous life. 

Supra-normal life-energy, amounting to the power of magic, resides in such a 
wildness of hair untouched by the scissors. The conceptualization here is similar 
to the legend of Samson who with naked hands tore asunder the jaws of a lion. 
His strength was said to reside in his hair. 

Also central to understanding the symbolism behind Natarajas hair is the 
realization that much of womanly charm, the sensual appeal of the Eternal 
Feminine, is in the fragrance, the flow and luster of beautiful hair. On the other 
hand, anyone renouncing the generative forces of the vegetable -animal realm, 
revolting against the procreative principle of life, sex, earth, and nature, and 
entering upon the spiritual path of absolute asceticism, has first to be shaved. He 
must simulate the sterility of an old man whose hairs have fallen and who no 
longer constitutes a link in the chain of generation. He must coldly sacrifice the 
foliage of the head. 


The tonsure of the Christian priest and monk is a sign of this renunciation of the 
flesh. (Clergymen of denominations in which marriage is not considered 
incompatible with the saintly office do not wear a tonsure.) These Worthy Ones, 
representing the victory of yoga-spirituality, have overcome all seduction by 
their taking of the monastic vows and following of the ascetic formula. With 
their voluntary baldness they have broken through to the peace beyond the 
seasons of growth and change. 

Thus by donning long, luxurious hair, Shiva dispels the notion of the 
conventional ascetic and reiterates that the image of Nataraja assimilates and 
harmonizes within itself apparently contradictory and conflicting aspects. 

Shiva is thus two opposite things: archetypal ascetic and archetypal dancer. On 
the one hand he is total tranquillity-inward calm absorbed in itself, absorbed in 
the void of the Absolute, where all distinctions merge and dissolve, and all 
tensions are at rest. But on the other hand he is total activity- lifes energy, 
frantic, aimless and playful. 

The Nataraja image represents not simply some event in the mythic life of a 
local deity but a universal view in which the forces of nature and the aspirations 
and limitation of man confront each other and are blended together. The curator 
of the Indian collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art has rightly written 
that: "If one had to select a single icon to represent the extraordinarily rich and 
complex cultural heritage of India, the Shiva Nataraja might well be the most 
remunerative candidate." 

Shiva, like some other Hindu deities, is said to have several incarnations, known 
as Avatars. Adi Shankara, the 8th-century philosopher of non-dualist Vedanta 
was named "Shankara" after Lord Shiva and is considered to have been an 
incarnation of Shiva. In the Hanuman Chalisa, Hanuman is identified as the 
eleventh avatar of Shiva. 

Lord Shiva - The Sensuous Yogi 

Lord Shiva (or Siva) is considered as the destroyer and the restorer of the world. 
Shiva is one of the most popular gods of the Hindu religion. Lord Shiva forms 
the part of the Trimurti (Trinity), the other being Brahma, the creator and 
Vishnu, the preserver. Shiva is known for the complexity of his nature, 
representing contradictory qualities. He is the destroyer and the restorer, the 
great ascetic and the symbol of sensuality, the kind herdsman of souls and a 
wrathful avenger. Lord Shiva is a God for our time, for today's human 
behaviour, free and disconnected from established old beliefs. 

There once dwelt in a dense forest a community of hermits engaged in 
meditation and applying the most difficult of austerities. The hermitage had a 
large number of knowledgeable and mighty sages, but they were for the most 
part ritualists, more involved in the actual process rather than appreciating the 
symbolic significance behind the liturgies they performed. 

Lord Shiva in his role of an ascetic mendicant once approached this community 
of recluses to beg for alms. The force of the Lord Shiva's tapas or meditations 


glowed forth from his auric body. Combined with the spectacular flicker in his 
eyes, it presented him as extraordinarily handsome. This comely young ascetic, 
his naked body smeared with ashes, exerted a powerful influence upon the 
womenfolk of the hermitage. The wives and daughters of the sages rushed out to 
greet the naked yogi. The hermits were utterly shocked at the sight of this naked 
monk who drove their well-born wives and mothers to a demented level of 
desire. The women came with offerings of fruits and flowers. When they 
approached the Lord Shiva the sensuous yogi, they shed all restraint, taking hold 
of his hands, pleading for his attentions. They shed away their inhibitions, their 
ornaments, their clothes, and embraced the naked stranger with the skull in his 

The saints were left speechless. Their years of solitude and penance and the hard 
monastic life were all repudiated by the inexplicable aberrations of their noble 
wives. Confused, pained, bewildered and also very angry, the sages asked the 
stranger for his name and identity. Lord Shiva greeted their queries with a 
silence. Driven to a level of frenzy the same as their chaste women, these sages 
in their uncontrolled outrage tore off Shiva's organ of generation from his body. 
But Lord Shiva, the first amongst yogis, remained supremely unaffected both by 
the women's adoration and the sages' anger. 

As soon as Lord Shiva's organ fell to the ground it assumed a gigantic 
proportion, making everyone aware of the divine status of this handsome 
ascetic. Thus is said to have originated the emblematic worship of Lord Shiva's 
organ, popularly known as the Shiva linga. 

The rapture of love, the moment of euphoria in which we forget everything else 
(reason, wisdom, prudence, social rules, human interests etc), is but an image of 
the mystical bliss. The lover ceases to be himself and becomes one with the 
object of his/her desire. Indeed, for an instant, he/she ceases to exist as an 
individual, merging with the other being in totality. The sole reality at that 
defining moment is the voluptuousness of desire that unites them: 

"Just as in the embrace of his beloved, a man forgets the entire world, all 
that exists within himself and without, so in union with the Being of 
knowledge, he no longer knows anything, either within or without" 

(Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, 4.3.21). 

For an instant, one achieves one's true goal, forgets one's own interests, 
ambitions, problems, and duties, and participates in that feeling of bliss that is 
one's true and immortal nature. Mystical rapture is a marvellous feeling of 


pleasure, similar to the effect produced by bhang, the Indian hemp and favourite 
drink of Lord Shiva. 

In order to be genuine, love and rapture of pleasure must be absolutely 
irrational. They must not be "useful," "normal," or according to law." They must 
not be a mere procreative act used to beget children for the continuance of our 
house, to look after us and defend our property. They must not be the outcome 
of marriage, which stabilises our social position and represents a communion of 
interests. True love must be wholly useless and disinterested, far from any idea 
of family, progeny, or social order. Only then it is pure, true love. This is why 
the mystical poets sing of illicit love, the love of what does not belong to you 
(parakiya) and not of what you already possess (svakiya). Loving a wife, or 
someone who belongs to us, is part of what binds us to the world of forms and 
not of what can free us from it. According to Alain Danielou (1907 - 1994) 1 , 
only adulterous, abnormal love can be considered pure and truly free from all 
ties, and only it can give us some idea of the mystic experience - it is absurd, 
disinterested, and destructive of all that is human. 

So, we should not wonder at the fact that representations of human love - the 
search for voluptuous pleasure - recognize none of the limits that social ethics 
wish to impose. 

Hence the conduct of the virtuous ladies in the hermitage though shocking at 
first sight, is perfectly understandable from the above viewpoint. In fact the 
story also brings our attention to the fact that these women were more spiritually 
advanced than their men folk, who were engaged in endless itineraries of rituals 
whose symbolic significance they were unable to fathom and were so far away 
from the true import of these spiritual practices. The ladies on the other hand 
were more intuitively fine tuned to appreciate the true nature of physical desire, 
sprung naturally from their archetypal inner being and in harmony with their 
primordial nature uncontaminated by man-made constructs, including both 
social and moral. 

The canonical iconography of Lord Shiva further shows him with certain 
characteristic attributes which emphasise his sensuous nature, while retaining his 
essentially yogic profile. Some of these traits making up the character and 
personality of Shiva are: 

1 Alain Danielou (1907-1994) spent more than 15 years in the traditional society of India, using only the Sanskrit 
and Hindi languages and studying music and philosophy with eminent scholars. He was duly initiated into 
esoteric Shaivism, which gave him unusual access to texts transmitted through the oral tradition alone. He is the 
author of more than 30 books on the religion, history, and arts of India and the Mediterranean. 


The Dance of Shiva 

It is said that man danced before he spoke. He certainly danced before he 
painted and sculpted reliefs on his walls. All cultures of the world have given 
dance a ritual status before any formal ritual or liturgy was codified in texts, or 
recreated through relief or paint. 

Yoga, like dance, is much more than a mere physical exercise. It is a holistic 
way of relating to the body that involves an increasing awareness on all levels: 
the physical, the mental, and the spiritual. Yoga unites the functions of each of 
these aspects of our personality. This is true for dance also. Certainly any 
successful dance performance is characterised by a balanced harmony between 
the body and spirit. What is suggested here is that dance, like yoga, is a 
conscious attempt at integrating all the tiers of our existence. It does not negate 
but on the contrary affirms the sensual nature of our objective physical 
being, and treats it as fundamental to any attempt at spiritual awareness as our 
subjective intangible soul. 

Dance is therefore a spiritual channel, an opening of both metaphysical and 
sensuous doorways. 

Whirling his limbs, gracefully carved as if a woman's, Shiva as Nataraja gyrates 
to the rhythms of his essentially fleshy dance - an outpouring of sensual 
stimulation in free and unrestrained exuberance. His dance is both supremely 
sexual and sublimely spiritual. 

He is the god of destruction, his dance too is thus essentially of a similar nature. 
A ring of flames encircles him. 

These are the cremation fires which are ultimately going to consume our mortal 
bodies. But on the other hand dance is also an act of creation. It brings about a 
new situation and transforms the perpetrator into a higher realm of reality and 

We observe that Lord Shiva's dance of death and regeneration is nothing but the 
recreation of the sexual act itself, which is composed of an interplay of desire, 
sensuality, highs and lows, and of course an overriding sensation of ecstasy, all 
an integral part of Shiva's dance. 

A poet has beautifully described dance as "nature struggling to express itself, in 
terms of the joy of the dance." Hence by extension, in the frenzy of the actual 
physical act of mating can be discerned the ultimate truth of all manifested 
existence. This truth is that of birth and inevitable death. These are the defining 


qualities of Shiva's dance, as also of the sexual act, both of which communicate 
through an exhilarated appreciation of the body, for its own sake. 

The Hair of Shiva 

Shiva's tresses are long and flowing, and dark as the night is. 

Supra-normal energy, amounting to the power of magic, resides in such a 
wildness of hair untouched by the scissors. The celebrated strength of Samson, 
who with naked hands tore asunder the jaws of a lion and shook down the roof 
of a pagan temple, was similarly said to reside in his uncut hair. 

Shiva's hair also supports a crescent moon, a symbol of the female reproductive 

Indeed much of womanly charm, the sensual appeal of the Eternal feminine, is 
also in the fragrance, the flow and luster of beautiful hair. On the other hand, 
anyone renouncing the generative forces of the vegetable-animal realm, 
revolting against the procreative principle of life, sex, earth, and nature, to enter 
upon the spiritual path of absolute asceticism, has first to be shaved. 

He must simulate the sterility of an old man whose hairs have fallen and who no 
longer constitutes a link in the chain of generation. He must coldly sacrifice the 
foliage of the head. This is most significantly evidenced in the first act carried 
out by the Buddha when he renounced the royal palace. He severed his long and 
beautiful hair with his princely blade. 

But though the spiritual and even earthly rewards of this ascetic attitude are 
high, Shiva does not shave or shear his hair, said to be "sweet with many a 
pleasant scent." Refusing to take advantage of the symbolical and potent devices 
of self-curtailment and deprivation, the arch-yogi is forever the unshorn male. 

Shiva thus accepts the essentially sensual nature of the manifested world. He 
makes us aware that we can free ourselves from our attachments through the 
very attachments themselves and not otherwise. According to the Kama Sutra 
"those that seek liberation achieve it thanks to detachment, which cannot occur 
except after attachment, since the spirit of humankind is by nature attracted by 
the objects of the senses." 


Nandi the Bull of Shiva 

The vehicle of Shiva is a bull (vrishabh or vrisha in Sanskrit). He is the great 
sprinkler of the seed, and represents the fecundating energy of Kama the God of 

The bull which wanders about, anxious to find a mate, is taken as the 
embodiment of the sex impulse. Most living creatures are governed by their 
instincts; they are ridden over by the bull. They are merely the appendage of 
their reproductive powers. 

But Shiva is the master of lust. He rides on the bull. Only those who are masters 
of their own impulses can ride on the bull. Thus the image of Shiva atop his bull 
represents the sexual drive brought under control, though not weakened, through 
asceticism. As Mahayogi, the god is master of the bull. This is true even when 
he is with his shakti, and his images therefore often represent him sitting upon 
its back, poised gracefully and fully in control. 

"Among those who have mastered the bull you are the bull keeper. 
O Lord! Riding on the bull, you protect the worlds." 


A primary aim of yoga is to transform our mighty sexual potency into spiritual 
power. Yogis believe that sex energy is the very energy that man can utilize for 
the conquest of his own self. The sexually powerful man, if he controls himself, 
can attain any form of power, even conquer the celestial worlds. On the other 
hand, men of weak temperament are unqualified for great adventures, physical 
or mental. The sex impulse must therefore never be denied or weakened. Yoga 
thus opposes exaggerated austerities. According to Zimmer, noted Indologist, a 
deity's animal mount is the manifestation of the god's divine essence. Indeed the 
man of strong powers is the vehicle of Shiva, through whom the deity reveals 
his own virile nature and powers. The bull of Shiva is hence also called the 
joyful (Nandi), correspondingly Shiva himself is known as the lord of joy 

Kundalini and the Marriage of Shiva 

The metabolic energy called Kundalini is symbolized as Parvati. She is 
conceived as the serpent power which lies coiled in the lowest chambers of the 
human body. Kundalini when properly quickened, unfolds her vibrating hoods 
and by an upward sweep enters the spinal cord and then the brain, and finally 
unites above the head with Shiva. In mythology, Shiva's wedding with Parvati is 


the entrance of this serpent power into the Higher Mind which is compared to 
the snowy mountains of Kailash. Kailash is the symbol of the highest mind and 
Shiva has his abode on this mountain where silence reigns eternally. 

The analogy is between a human wedding which releases the highest ecstasies of 
the flesh, and the wedding of Kundalini with Shiva, which is a symbol of the 
highest bliss attainable by an individual soul. 


Our body is the instrument of our destiny. Our intellectual mechanism and 
spiritual being are not independent of the body that shelters and nourishes them. 
If we wish for success in anything whatever, we must take care of our body: 
cherish, satisfy, and content it. Yogis condemn abstinence, just as they condemn 
excess, since both cause imbalance in the physical and intellectual being. A 
healthy, vigorous, satisfied body, one that is pleasant to inhabit, is the best 
vehicle and instrument for human and spiritual accomplishment. Eroticism and 
pleasure in all its forms are vital for man's intellectual and physical balance. Life 
is transmitted through the sexual act, and the giving of life is a duty, a debt to be 
discharged by whoever has received it. Besides its practical utility, however, 
physical pleasure plays an essential role in our inner development. It is the 
image of divine bliss and prepares us and aids us to attain it. A man who strives 
to be chaste and who fears, condemns, and thwarts physical love can never free 
himself from the prison of the senses. He weaves around himself a web of 
obscure frustrations, which will hinder him from realizing his transcendental 

On the other hand, the man who has tasted all kinds of sensual pleasure can 
gradually turn aside from them, finding greater sensual pleasure in union with 
the divine. This is no longer renunciation, but liberation. In discovering the 
divine, the realized man gradually loses interest in earthly things, virtue, honor, 
vice, and pleasure. He considers the human act of love in the same way that he 
breathes the perfume of flowers or listens to the song of birds. 

Indeed the remark of the saint who said "I have never renounced any vice: it is 
they who have left me" summarizes the message of Shiva. 

In the Puranas, which collect the most ancient mythological and historical 
legends, Shiva appears as a mysterious and lascivious deity of the primeval 
forest. He is naked, and his beauty seduces all beings. The sages practicing 
austere asceticism are disturbed by the charms of this unconventional god. His 
virile power is described as limitless. Wandering through the forest, the symbol 


of the cosmos, always ithyphallic, he scatters his seed. From his seed are born 
plants, metals, and precious stones. 

God of eroticism, Shiva is also the master of Yoga, which is described as the 
method used to sublimate virile power and transform it into mental and 
intellectual power. He is therefore the "great Yogi." Fittingly therefore, the 
Kama Sutra designates the various positions adopted in the act of love as asanas, 
the same term used to describe the postures of Hathayoga. 

Although both Shiva and his goddess Shakti are creator deities, the true scope of 
their union is not procreation, but pleasure and voluptuousness (ananda). A 
whole world of legend and myth narrates their love. The two opposites, the 
positive and the negative pole, acquire reality only in their relations with each 
other. They exist solely in what unites them, in the spark of pleasure that jumps 
from one to the other. In other words, the immanent cause of the universe, 
substance, and creation, is voluptuous desire. 

The spermatozoid substance placed in the female has a fecundating action, but 
the same substance, when reabsorbed through sexual abstinence, nourishes the 
cerebral matter. Rising, according to yogic formula, through the subtle channels 
flanking the backbone, it renders the intellectual faculties more acute. The Yogi 
perceives sexual energy as though it were coiled up at the base of the spine, 
which is why it is called kundalini (coiled) and likened to a sleeping snake. 
When, by means of mental concentration, it awakens and unwinds its coils, it 
rises like a column of fire toward the zenith, toward the top of the skull - the 
image of the heavenly vault - and pierces it to reach the transcendent worlds 
inhabited by Shiva. Shiva's liberated phallus represents this illuminating power 
rising heavenward beyond the material world. Thus is the linga likened to a 
pillar of light, guiding us to true knowledge. 


Cosmic Dance of the Lord Shiva 

Shiva, the Lord of the Lingam, the consort of Shakti-Devi, also is Nataraja, the 
King of Dancers. 

Dancing is an ancient form of magick. The dancer becomes amplified into a 
being endowed with supra-normal powers. His personality is transformed. Like 
yoga, the dance induces trance, ecstasy, the experience of the divine, the 
realization of one's own secret nature, and, finally, mergence into the divine 
essence. In India consequently the dance has flourished side by side with the 
terrific austerities of the meditation grove- fasting, breathing exercises, absolute 
introversion. To work magick, to put enchantments upon others, one has first to 
put enchantments on oneself. And this is affected as well by the dance as by 
prayer, fasting and meditation. 


The Lord Shiva, therefore, the arch-yogi of the gods, is necessarily also the 
master of the dance. 

The dance is an act of creation. It brings about a new situation and summons 
into the dancer a new and higher personality. It has a cosmogonic function, in 
that it rouses dormant energies which then may shape the world. On a universal 
scale, the Lord Shiva is the Cosmic Dancer; in his Dancing Manifestation 
(nritya-murti) he embodies in himself and simultaneously gives manifestation 
to Eternal Energy. The forces gathered and projected in his frantic, ever- 
enduring gyration, are the powers of the evolution, maintenance, and dissolution 
of the world. Nature and all its creatures are the effects of his eternal dance. 

Shiva-Nataraja is represented in a beautiful series of South Indian bronzes 
dating from the tenth and twelfth centuries A.D. The details of these figures are 
to be read, according to the Hindu tradition, in terms of complex pictorial 

The upper right hand, it will be observed, carries a little drum, shaped like an 
hour-glass, for the beating of the rhythm. This connotes Sound, the vehicle of 
speech, the conveyer of revelation, tradition, incantation magic and divine truth. 
Furthermore, Sound is associated in India with Ether, the first of the five 
elements. Ether is the primary and most subtly pervasive evolution of the 
universe, all the other elements, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth. Together, therefore, 
Sound and Ether signify the first, truth-pregnant moment of creation, the 
productive energy of the Absolute, in its pristine, cosmogenetic strength. 

The opposite hand, the upper left, with a half-moon posture of the figure 
(ardhacandra-mudra), bears on its palm a tongue of flame. Fire is the element 
of the destruction of the world. At the close of the Kali Yuga, Fire will 
annihilate the body of creation, to be itself then quenched by the ocean of the 
void. Here, then, in the balance of the hands, is illustrated a counterpoise of 
creation and destruction in the play of the cosmic dance. Sound against flame. 
And the field of the terrible interplay is the Dancing Ground of the Universe, 
brilliant and horrific with the dance of the god. 

The "fear not" gesture (abhaya-mudra), bestowing protection and peace, is 
displayed by the second right hand, while the remaining left lifted across the 
chest, points downward to the uplifted left foot. This foot signifies Release, and 
is the refuge and salvation of the devotee. It is to be worshipped for the 
attainment of union with the Absolute. The hand pointing to it is held in a pose 
imitative of the outstretched trunk or "hand of the elephant" (gaja-hasta- 
mudra), reminding us of Ganesha, Shiva's son, the Remover of Obstacles. 


The divinity is represented as dancing on the prostrate body of a dwarfish 
demon. This is "Apasmara Purusha," The Man or Demon (purusha) called 
Forgetfulness, or Heedlessness (apasmara). It is symbolical of life's blindness, 
man's ignorance. Therein is release from the bondages of the world. 

A ring of flames and light (prabha-mandala) issues from and encompasses the 
god. This is said to signify the vital processes of the universe and its creatures, 
nature's dance as moved by the dancing god within. Simultaneously it is said to 
signify the energy of Wisdom, the transcendental light of the knowledge of 
truth, dancing forth, from the personification of the All. Still another allegorical 
meaning assigned to the halo of flames is that of the holy syllable of AUM or 
OM. This mystical utterance stemming from the sacred language of Vedic praise 
and incantation, is understood as an expression and affirmation of the totality of 

• A — is the state of waking consciousness, together with its world of gross 

• U — is the state of dreaming consciousness, together with its experience 
of subtle shapes of dream. 

• M — is the state of dreamless sleep, the natural condition of quiescent, 
undifferentiated consciousness, wherein every experience is dissolved 
into a blissful non-experience, a mass of potential consciousness. 

The silence following the pronunciation of the three, A, U, and M, is the 
ultimate un-manifest, wherein perfected supra-consciousness totally reflects and 
merges with the pure, transcendental essence of Divine Reality-Brahman is 
experienced as Atman, the Self. AUM, therefore, together with its surrounding 
silence, is a sound-symbol of the whole of consciousness-existence, and at the 
same time its willing affirmation. 

Shiva as the Cosmic Dancer is the embodiment and manifestation of eternal 
energy in its 'five activities' (panch-kriya) 

1 . Creation (sristi)-the pouring forth or unfolding 

2. Maintenance (sthiti)— the duration 

3. Destruction (samhara)-the taking back or reabsorption 

4. Concealment (tiro-bhava)-the veiling of True Being behind the masks 
and garbs of apparitions, aloofness, display of Maya, 

5. Favor (anugraha)-acceptance of the devotee, acknowledgment of the 
pious endeavor of the yogi, bestowal of peace. 


In the Shiva-Trinity of Elephanta Caves it is seen that the two expressive 
profiles, representing the polarity of the creative force, were counterpoised to a 
single, silent, central head, signifying the quiescence of the Absolute. And we 
deciphered this symbolic relationship as eloquent of the paradox of Eternity and 
Time: the reposeful ocean and the racing stream are not finally distinct; the 
indestructible Self and the mortal being are in essence the same. This wonderful 
lesson can be read also in the figure of Shiva-Nataraja, where the incessant, 
triumphant motion of the swaying limbs is in significant contrast to the balance 
of the head and immobility of the mask-like countenance. 

Shiva is Kala, 'The Black One' 'Time'; but he is also Maha Kala, 'Great 
Time', 'Eternity'. As Nataraja, King of Dancers, his gestures, wild and full of 
grace, precipitate the cosmic illusion; his flying arms and legs and the swaying 
of his torso produce- indeed, they are-the continuous creation-destruction of the 
universe, death exactly balancing birth, annihilation the end of every coming- 
forth. The choreography is the whirligig of time. History and its ruins, the 
explosion of suns, are flashes from the tireless swinging sequence of the 
gestures. In the medieval bronze figurines, not merely a single phase or 
movement, but cyclic rhythm, flowing on and non in the unswayable, 
irreversible round of the Mahayugas, or Great Eons, is marked by the beating 
and stamping of the Master's heel. But the face remains, meanwhile, in 
sovereign calm. 

The Lord Shiva is the personification of the Absolute, particularly in its 
dissolution of the universe. He is the embodiment of Super-Death. He is called 
Yamantaka — 'The Ender of the Tamer' , He who conquers and exterminates 
Yama the God of Death, the Tamer. Shiva is Maha-Kala, Great Time, Eternity, 
the swallower of Time, swallower of Ages and cycles of ages. 

The Lord Shiva is apparently two opposite things, archetypal ascetic, and 
archetypal dancer. On one hand , he is Total Tranquility — inward calm 
absorbed in itself, absorbed in the void of the Absolute, where all distinctions 
merge and dissolve, and all tensions are at rest. But on the other hand, he is 
Total Activity — life's energy, frantic, aimless, and playful. 

Lord Shiva in the Sacred Scriptures 

One of the most revered texts of the Hindu tradition is the Rg Veda, a collection 
of more than one thousand hymns dating to 1200-1000 BCE. The Rg Veda 
describes the power of multiple deities (such as Agni, the god of fire) and the 
centrality of sacrifice in religious ritual. The religious ideas of the Vedas form 
an important thread in Hindu belief and tradition. Hindu priests still perform 
many rituals by chanting the Sanskrit verses of the Vedas. 


In the Rg Veda, Shiva was understood as the deity Rudra, "the howler," a lesser 
but feared god who is connected to the wild, uncontrollable aspects of animals 
and nature. Between 300 and 700 CE, a new understanding of Shiva emerged 
from texts called the Puranas, which recount the adventures and challenges of 
the gods. The Shiva Parana describes Shiva as performing two critical and 
interconnecting roles as the destroyer and the creator, periodically destroying the 
universe so that it can be remade again. These texts also contain stories of Shiva 
as a yogi, dweller in cremation grounds, husband to the goddess Parvati (Uma), 
and father to the gods Ganesha and Skanda. 

Around the ninth century, a school of thought emerged around Shiva that 
described the deity as having two distinct aspects. In one, Shiva is supreme and 
without form. In the other, Shiva takes form and can be embodied, seen, and 
interacted with on Earth. Portable bronze images were seen as vehicles for 
Shiva's divine power and physical presence to be shared with his devotees. 

It is important to note that Shiva must be ritualistically invited to descend to 
Earth from his formless, supreme state into the physical form of a ritual bronze. 
Following that ritual, puja can be performed for the deity. When puja is over, the 
"sending away" ritual is performed and Shiva may depart. 

Lord Shiva in Poetry 

Tamil poet-saints of the seventh through ninth centuries CE offer an important 
perspective on the south Indian worship of key Hindu deities. Their devotional 
perspective is known as bhakti. These saints and devotional poets wrote 
numerous hymns dedicated to Hindu gods, especially Shiva and Vishnu. Written 
in Tamil — as opposed to Sanskrit, the language used in Brahmanic Hindu 
ritual — the poems were performed throughout the region, generating deep 
devotion and even inspiring the construction of temples. A number of poet- 
saints were from the lower classes. Without access to temple worship, poems — 
suffused with affection and awe for the deities — were their primary way to 
express devotion and establish personal relationships with the divine. 

Rich in visual imagery, these hymns were later used by the Cholas to inform 
sculptures of Shiva and Vishnu. An excerpt from a devotional poem to Shiva by 
Saint Appar — a poet-saint of seventh-century Tamil Nadu — includes the visual 
attributes that would become characteristic of Shiva Nataraja in the Chola 

If you could see 
the arch of his brow 
the budding smile 


on lips red as the kovvai fruit 

cool matted hair, 

the milk-white ash on coral skin, 

and the sweet golden foot raised up in dance, 

then even human birth on this wide earth would be a thing worth having. 

— From Indira Viswanathan Peterson, Poems to Siva: The Hymns of the Tamil 
Saints (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1989), 118. 

Later in the poem, Appar writes of Shiva's dance in the Chidambaram forest 
(described as the "hall of TillaT): 

The very foot he raised 
to dance the dance 
in the little hall of Tillai — 
it claimed me as a slave. 

— From T.V. Gopal Iyer and Francois Gros, eds., Teveram: Hymnes Sivaites du 
pays Tamoul, vol. 2 (Pondicherry: Institute Francais d'Indologie, 1985), 8. 
Appar 4.81.10. Translation by Vidya Dehejia. 

Saint Sundarar, who lived in the eighth century, also produced hymns to Shiva 
replete with similarly vivid imagery: 

The Lord who holds fire 

and bears the broad river on his head 

dances, trailing strands of fire-red matted hair. 

Shiva's Sacred Dance 

As a fleeting art form in which the human body is the medium, dance of the past 
can only be understood through images, written accounts, oral histories, and 
information gleaned from dance and movement today. Understanding Shiva 
Nataraja and the temple culture of the Cholas offers useful perspectives on 
dance in that period. 

The significance of dance in the image and narrative of Shiva Nataraja relates to 
his cosmic power, which is represented in a dynamic pose that appears to radiate 
energy. It recalls the narrative of Shiva's victorious "dance of bliss" (ananda 
tandava) in the forest near Chidambaram. In addition, it links Shiva to the Chola 
tradition of triumphant warrior dances. So important was the dance of Shiva to 
the Cholas that Rajaraja I (r. 985-1014 CE) named a weight unit (adavallan) 
after Nataraja. 


Dance, one of many offerings to the deity, was performed by temple dancers or 
devadasis, women who dedicated their lives to sacred movement. These women 
lived in the temple towns of the Cholas, and were considered married to the 
temple deity. Under Rajaraja I, the Bhrihadishvara temple in ThanjavurTanjore 
was believed to have employed up to four hundred temple dancers. 

Regarded with suspicion by British rulers, temple dance was banned in the early 
twentieth century. However, a group of artists recreated the dance into a stage 
art known today as Bharata natyam. In fact, Bharata natyam is based on the 108 
positions of Shiva's dance of triumph, which are described in the Natya Shasta 
(ca. second-sixth centuries), a text focused on the art of performance. Images of 
these positions — karanas — still exist on temples of Tamil Nadu today. 

Shiva's Image of the Cosmic Dance 

The visual qualities of a Chola-dynasty bronze sculpture of Shiva Nataraja 
depended on a number of factors, particularly the skill and experience of the 
artist. Chola artists did create religious sculptures with distinctive variations. 
However, the sacred importance of Shiva Nataraja required sculptors to follow 
guidelines from key religious and artistic texts. 

During the Chola period, a series of texts called the Agamas described 
appropriate temple rituals and iconography related to Shiva. These texts also 
described the aniconic, or non-representational, image of Shiva, in the form of a 
pillar, or lingam as we have already discussed. Many Chola temples held linga, 
along with other movable bronze representations of Shiva for processional 

To achieve the perfect anatomical proportions for the sculpture, Chola artists 
would have consulted the shilpa shastras. These texts recommend flora and 
fauna and material objects as models for parts of the human body. For instance, 
a male torso must trace the outline of a bull's face viewed frontally, giving it a 
narrow waist. A female torso would emulate the hourglass-shaped damaru drum 
and her arms would evoke bamboo stems. The goal of the shilpa shastras was 
not to communicate how to achieve a realistic human form but the idealized, 
divine body prized in Indian art. 

Bronze Casting for Sacredness 

Every bronze in a south Indian temple is unique. Each is created using the lost- 
wax (cire perdue) process, in which molten metal is poured into a hand- 
fashioned clay mold that is later broken apart to yield the final work of art. 


Shiva in this time and age 

From its origins in the tenth century, during the Chola Empire, the image of 
Shiva Nataraja has become an integral part of modern India's multicultural, 
religiously diverse landscape. Nataraja's significance has expanded beyond the 
Cholas' religious, political, and cultural understandings of the deity. It is now 
layered with many more meanings, including Tamil identity, the origins of 
Indian dance, and — more broadly — India Itself. 

Shiva as "Lord of the Dance" evokes the same powerful devotion for many 
Hindus today as he did during the Chola period, and he is still honored in and 
around south Indian temples with rituals similar to those of the medieval period. 
Now, however, worshippers can experience darshan — the ability to attain 
blessings by seeing and being seen by the deity — through a temple poster or 

Over the years, Shiva Nataraja has become a general symbol for dance, as well 
as the inspiration for Bharata natyam, a reconstructed stage form of south Indian 
temple dance. In Bharata natyam, an image of Shiva Nataraja is often placed on 
the stage to honor the deity. This symbolism is echoed in the large, brightly lit 
silhouette of Nataraja that dominates the stage on the Indian television show 
Nach Baliye L Similar to the U.S. program Dancing with the Stars, Nach Baliye 
features teams of Bollywood actors in an ongoing dance competition. Even the 
program's logo and trophy honor Nataraja, depicting silhouettes of two dancers 
surrounded by a ring that recalls his cosmic flames. 

Lord Shiva through the Ages and Cultures 

In the twenty-first century, the image of Shiva Nataraja has become popularized 
and repurposed across the globe. There is a natural tension when such a 
powerful deity in Hindu belief is brought into new secular contexts. People 
worldwide are seeing Nataraja through a multitude of lenses — commercial, 
personal, scientific, and artistic — and finding deep but differing meanings. 

One striking example has its roots in twentieth-century physics. After physicist 
Fritjof Capra's book The Tao of Physics was published in 1975, Shiva Nataraja 
became a symbol of the movement of matter in the pattern of creation and 
destruction. A large sculpture of Nataraja stands outside the European Center for 
Research in Particle Physics (CERN) in Geneva, Switzerland, underlining the 
link between cosmic forces and subatomic matter. In this context, Nataraja is 
also a political symbol for India's contribution to the sciences. 


Along with appearing as a popular image on merchandise, Nataraja has been 
reinterpreted by artists to address issues in today's global society. Israeli artist 
Izhar Patkin, for example, created a glass sculpture fusing the deity with 
Brazilian entertainer Carmen Miranda and African-American performer 
Josephine Baker. The work, titled Where Each is Both, explores the confluences 
of these three figures as dancers and as boundary-crossers, creating and 
destroying on cosmic and human scales. 

Indian- American graphic designer Sanjay Patel has depicted Nataraja in his 
unique illustration style, which is partly inspired by Japanese cartoons and 
comics. His brightly colored, two-dimensional deities sport large heads, big 
eyes, and stubby limbs. In his collection of illustrations and information on the 
Hindu pantheon, The Little Book of Hindu Deities, Patel uses this style to bring a 
deliberate playfulness to the exploration of Hindu gods and epics. 

Lord Shiva, a God of All Times 

"Ta-dum, ta-dum, ta-dum..." beats the drum in Nataraja's hand, as he shakes it, 
giving rhythm to his dancing feet and sound to his image. Shiva, the auspicious 
one, is manifest here as the Lord of the Dance, a form he has taken not to 
entertain but perform cosmic work. Shiva Nataraja is crushing ignorance, 
presented by the sculptor as a demon under his feet who looks up benevolently 
at the god, even as his own ruin is in progress. 

Nataraja is one of the most important, visually thrilling forms of the Hindu god 
Shiva. Artists in the Tamil region of southern India began to make this form of 
Shiva in the early tenth century, with the patronage of kings, inspired by poetry 
written by ardent devotees and using skills in metal craft developed over 
hundreds of years. Once made and brought to life through ritual, Nataraja lived 
in the temple, moving out daily and during festivals, gracing his devotees within 
the temple and in the streets, as he processed through the town with song and 

Appearing more than a thousand years ago, Nataraja's importance has endured 
as a god and a popular icon. Today he is worshipped in major temples and 
circulates in public life. Nataraja represents Indian tradition, cosmic principles, 
Tamil identity, and classical dance. Artists use his image to sell products, 
critique society, and present philosophical concepts. Nataraja is truly a god for 
all time. 

In fact, the cosmic dance of Shiva symbolises the interplay of dynamic and static 
divine energy flow, containing the five principles of eternal energy - creation, 
preservation, destruction, illusion and emancipation. 


Shiva dances in 'Rudra Tandava' or the dance of destruction in an aureole of fire, 
creating wild thunder storms all around the universe, even shattering the Sun, 
the Moon and stellar bodies with his matted hair, marks of ash on the forehead, 
trident and drum, lifting his left leg and balancing over a demon of ignorance, 
with snakes crawling over his arms, legs and braided hair that depict egotism. 
His upper right hand holds an hourglass drum or 'dumroo' standing for the male- 
female vital principle, while the lower gestures us to "Be fearless". A skull on 
his head depicts conquest over death. Goddess Ganga, epitomising the holy 
river, sits on his hairdo. His third eye represents omniscience, insight and 

Na mrityur na shanka na jatibhedah 

Pita naibo main naibo mata na janma 

Na bandhurna mitrang gururnaibo shishyah, 

Sachchidanandarupa Shivohom Shivohom 

Na punyong na papong na shaukhyong na dukhong 

Na mantro na tirtha na vedah na yagah 

Ahang bhojanang naibo bhojyong na bhokta 

Chidanandarupah Shivohom Shivohom 

Translation for pondering: 

I am beyond death, I am beyond doubts I am beyond 


No one is my father, none my mother, nor was I born 

Neither brother nor friend, neither teacher nor pupil, 

I am only truth, ecstasy and consciousness, I am Shiva. I am 


Nothing is sin for me, nothing is holy, sadness and happiness 

are not known to me 

I don't need chanting, nor holy places, no veda no yagna 

I am neither food, nor do I eat nor am I the enjoyer of these 

My abode is always a conscious happiness. I am Shiva... I am 



The third aspect of the Supreme Being is the process of dissolution of all 
creation, a precursor to the fresh beginning of the process of creation. This 
aspect is represented by Lord Shiva - the third of the Hindu Trinity. He 
represents darkness or Tamas and is often called the angry God (Rudreshwar). 


Even though associated with destruction and dissolution, since Hinduism 
believes in the inevitability of creation following destruction, Lord Shiva is also 
associated with being a cause of creation. As a result, the Linga or phallus is 
said to be his symbol - the symbol of regeneration. 

According to some schools of thought, Shiva represents the entire cosmos. This 
of course is to be distinguished from the concept of Vishwaroop as described in 
the section on Vishnu in the sense that while Shiva might represent the cosmos, 
Vishnu in his Vishwaroop form contains the cosmos and sustains it as well. 

Shiva or Maheshwara is the Divine Lord and in him are concentrated the three 
energies of understanding (Gyana), the will (Ichha) and action (Kriya) - thus 
forming the fountainhead of all knowledge. The nature of Shiva as representing 
the entire cosmos has led to his having 1008 names in the various Hindu 
scriptures extending the Vedic concept of multiple forms of a single divine 
power. The Vedas do not mention Shiva as the name of the god in question - 
instead he is named Rudra - the lord of songs, sacrifices, nourishment, the healer 
of diseases and the provider of property. 

The Vishnu Purana (religious Hindu text) describes the origin of Lord Shiva. It 
says that Brahma was initially unsuccessful in his attempts of creation. He 
meditated for a child, after which a child sprang forth from his forehead and 
divided itself into a male and female part. The male part started crying 
inconsolably. On being asked the reason for crying the child said it did not have 
a name, at which, Brahma named him Rudra - which also means the one who 
howls. However Brahma had to give him seven more names - for the seven 
more times that the child cried, giving Shiva his eight forms: Rudra, Sharva, 
Bhava, Ugra, Bhima, Pashupati, Ishana, and Mahadeva. The Shiva Purana then 
goes on to describe how each of these names is associated with an element - the 
earth, water, fire, wind, sky, a yogi called Kshetragya, the sun, and the moon 
respectively. The female part of the child born from Brahma's forehead is 
believed to be Parvati - Shiva's eternal consort. 

There is also a different indication of the origin of another manifestation of 
Shiva as Ardhanarishwara - where he is depicted as half -male and half-female - 
the union of substance and energy, the Being and his Shakti (force). The right 
half - depicting the male - is his own form and the left half - depicting the 
female part - is his consort Parvati. This depiction represents Shiva as 
Sadashiva, Adishiva or Adipurusha - the primeval Being - as being the unity of 
existence. It underlines the fact that division in nature between male and female, 
between material and energy is only superfluous and in reality all is one. Shiva 


shows himself as being all that is male and all that is female - through this form 
of being the inseparable unity. 

The attributes of the Lord Shiva 

Unclad body smeared with ashes: 

This form of Lord Shiva symbolizes 
the transcendental aspect of his nature 
and indicates that his presence is 
much higher than this physical 
phenomenon. The ashes on the Lord's 
body is cemetery ash, which points to 
the philosophy of the life and death 
and shows that death is the ultimate 
reality of the life. Most things in the 
universe reduce to ashes when burned 
and this aspect of nature is suggested 
by the ash-smeared appearance of 
Lord Shiva, who is held to be the God 
of destruction in Hindu mythology. 
The Lord is beyond the cycle of birth 
and death. 

Jata (Matted Hair): The flow of his 
matted hair represents Shiva as the Lord of Wind or Vayu, who is the subtle 
form of breath present in all living beings. It shows that Shiva is Pashupatinath, 
Lord Of All Living Beings. 

Sacred Ganga: The river Ganga (or Ganges) is the most sacred river for pious 
Hindus. According to a legend, the river Ganga has its source in Shiva and flows 
from his matted hair. This is symbolically represented by depicting Ganga as a 
jet of water sprinkling out of the head of the Lord and falling on the ground. 
Legend has it that the Lord allowed an outlet to the great river to traverse the 
earth and bring purifying water to human being. Hence, Lord Shiva is often 
referred to as Gangadhara or "Bearer of the river Ganga". The river Ganga also 
denotes fertility, one of the creative aspects of the Rudra. It also indicates that 
Shiva is not only the Lord of destruction but also the bestower of knowledge, 
purity and peace on the devotees. 

The Third Eye: In the great Hindu epic Mahabharata, Lord Shiva is depicted as 
a three-eyed God. Hence, he is often referred to as Tryambaka Deva, meaning 
"three-eyed Lord". The sun is said to be his right eye, the moon the left eye 


while fire is his third eye. While his other two eyes indicate his activity in the 
physical world, his third eye in the center of his forehead looks beyond the 
obvious. It stands for spiritual knowledge and power, and is thus called the eye 
of wisdom or knowledge. Like fire, the powerful gaze of Shiva's third eye can 
search evil from anywhere and annihilate it completely. This is the reason why 
evil-doers fear his third eye. 

Half-Open Eyes: The half-open eyes of Lord Shiva convey the idea that the 
cycle of universe is in process. When the Lord opens His eyes a new cycle of 
creation begins and when He closes them it signifies the destruction of the 
universe for creation of the next cycle. The half-open eyes signify that creation 
is going through an eternal cyclic process, with no beginning and no end. 

Crescent: Lord Shiva is typically pictured as wearing a crescent-shaped 
ornament on one side of his head. This is why he is often called 
'Chandrasekhara' meaning "Having the moon as his crest". The Crescent is 
actually the moon in its fifth day phase and symbolizes the time cycle through 
which creation evolves from the beginning to the end. The moon is a measure of 
time, and thus the Crescent on Lord Shiva's head signifies his control over time. 
The Lord is the Eternal Reality and He is beyond time. Thus, the crescent moon 
is only one of His ornaments, and not an integral part of Him. 

The Snake around the neck: Lord Shiva is often shown with a snake curled 
three times around His neck and looking towards His right side. The three coils 
of the snake symbolize the past, present and future - time in cycles. The snake 
looking in the right direction of Lord Shiva signifies that the Lord's perpetual 
laws of reason and justice preserve natural order in the universe. The snake is 
believed to be the Vasuki Naga, a deadly cobra. The Lord wearing the deadly 
snake like an ornament signifies that He is independent of time and death. It also 
suggests the dormant energy, called Kundalini Shakti, that resides within him. 

Vibhuti: The three line of ashes drawn on the forehead of the Lord is known as 
the Vibhuti. It signifies the Immortality of the Lord and his manifested glory. 

Tiger Skin: Hindu mythology states that the tiger is the vehicle of Shakti, the 
Goddess of power and force. Lord Shiva is often shown seated upon or wearing 
a tiger skin, which emphasizes the fact that he is the master of Shakti and is 
beyond and above any kind of force. Tiger is also the emblem of lust. The Lord's 
sitting on Tiger skin indicates that he has conquered lust. Tiger also represents 
energy. Lord Shiva is the source of the creative energy that remains in potential 
form during the dissolution state of the universe. He activates this energy using 
his own Divine Will to project the universe in endless cycles. 


The Elephant and Deer Skin: The Lord also wears elephant and deer skins. 
Elephants stand in for pride while deer represent the flickering mind. Wearing 
elephant and deer skin shows that Lord Shiva has conquered both these vices. 

Rudraksha Necklace: He is almost always shown as wearing a necklace having 
108 beads made with seeds of the Rudraksha tree. The beads represent the 
elements used in the creation of the world. The Rudraksha necklace points to the 
'Rudra' aspect of the Lord, which is also His other name. The word 'Rudra' 
means "strict or uncompromising" and aksha means "eye." It illustrates the fact 
that Lord Shiva is firm about His cosmic laws and strictly maintains law and 
order in the universe. 

Damaru (Drum): It is the small hourglass-shaped drum that the Lord holds in 
one of his hands in a specific gesture called 'damaru -hasta'. The two sides of the 
drum separated from each other by a thin neck-like structure represents the two 
utterly different states of existence, unmanifest and manifest. When a damaru is 
shaken, it produces Nada, the cosmic sound of AUM, which can be heard during 
deep meditation. According to Hindu scriptures, Nada is the source of creation. 
This is one of the attributes of Shiva in his famous dancing representation 
known as Nataraja. 

Trishul (Trident): The trident, or the spear with three prongs, is one of the 
accessories of the Lord and symbolizes His three fundamental powers 
iccha(will), kriya(action) and jnana(knowledge). It also signifies His power to 
destroy evil and ignorance. As His weapon and instrument of punishment the 
trident represents Lord Shiva's manner of punishing the evil doers on all the 
three planes - spiritual, subtle and physical. 

Kamandalu: The water pot (Kamandalu) often shown adjacent to the Lord is 
another of his accessories. It is said to be made from a dry pumpkin and 
containing amrit (nectar). Indian Yogis and sages are seen to carry the 
Kamandalu as an item of basic necessity. The carrying of the Kamandalu shows 
the yogic nature of the Lord. But it has a deeper significance. As a ripe pumpkin 
has been plucked from a plant, its fruit removed and shell cleaned for containing 
the nectar, an individual too must give up his attachment to the physical world 
and clean his inner self of egoistic desires to experience the bliss of the Self, 
symbolized by the nectar in the Kamandalu. 

Kundalas: The Kundalas refer to the two ear rings, Alakshya (meaning "which 
cannot be shown by any sign") and Niranjan (meaning "which cannot be seen by 
mortal eyes"), worn by the Lord. The ornaments in the ears of the Lord signify 
that He is beyond ordinary perception. It is noteworthy that the kundala in the 


left ear of the Lord is of the type used by women and the one in His right ear is 
of the type used by men. The dual type of Kundalas represent the Shiva and 
Shakti (male and female) principle of creation. 

Mount Kailasa: Lord Shiva is most often shown to be seated with the beautiful 
Himalayas serving as his backdrop. Mount Kailash in the Himalayas is said to 
be His traditional abode. In Hindu mythology, Mount Kailasa is said to represent 
the center of the universe. This denotes that Lord Shiva is 'Kailas' - the bestower 
of peace and also 'Kailashadhipati' meaning "Lord Of Mount Kailash". 

Nandi, the Bull: Nandi is the Bull of Lord Shiva and is said to be his vehicle. 
The bull is a symbol both of power and ignorance which suggests that Lord 
Shiva removes ignorance of his devotees and gives them the power of wisdom. 
In Sanskrit a bull is called "Vrisha" which also means "righteousness". The 
Nandi bull beside Lord Shiva indicates that He is the eternal companion of 

Om Namah Shivaya 

This mantra has no approximate translation. The sounds related directly to the 
principles which govern each of the first six chakras on the spine. . .Earth, water, 
fire, air, ether. Notice that this does not refer to the chakras themselves which 
have a different set of seed sounds, but rather the principles which govern those 
chakras in their place. A very rough, non-literal translation could be something 
like, 'Om and salutations to that which I am capable of becoming.' This mantra 
will start one out on the path of subtle development of spiritual attainments. It is 
the beginning on the path of Siddha Yoga, or the Yoga of Perfection of the 
Divine Vehicle. 


The Sacred Feast Mahashivratri 

When the Lord Shiva principle descends to Earth a thousand times more than 
usual, on this day, to obtain the full benefit of Lord Shiva's principle, one should 
chant as much as possible. 


Key of C 


j,. 1 1 | j j i j, j j i j g§ | 

Om Na-mah Shi - va - ya 
G C 

Om Na-mah Shi - va - ya 

G7 C 

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Om Na-mah Shi - va 

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ya Om Na-mah Shi - va - ya 


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a- ma 


Shi ■ 

■ va - ya 






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d • m m 

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Om Na-mah Shi - va 
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ya Om Na-mah Shi - va_ - ya 

G7 C 





Om Na-mah Shi - va_ 


Om Na-mah Shi - va - ya 

"Shivratri" is the time when Shiva takes a rest. Shiva rests for one "prahar" 
(three hours) of the night. This "prahar" is referred to as the Shivratri. 
When Lord Shiva takes rest, the function of "Shivtatva" (Shiva Principle) 
ceases,i.e. Lord Shiva goes into a meditative state. 





Rays of 

(Divine Consciousness} 


(Fire Element) 


(Divine Energy) 


{Eternal Peace) 

Subtle Vision of Shiva in Meditative stale en the day ef Mahashivratri 

Shiva's meditative state is the time when He is engrossed in His own 
spiritual practice. 

During that time, the 'Shivtatva' does not accept any tamogun 
(most base of the 3 elements in us - sattva, raja and tama) or 
any halahal (venom churned from the ocean) coming from the Universe. 

As a result,the ratio of halahal or the pressure of the negative energies increases. 
For protection from this pressure, things like'bilva patra', white flowers, 
'rudraksha' beads etcare offered to Lord Shiva. 

These things attract the 'Shivtatva' from the atmosphere, thus providing 
protection from the increasing effect of the negative energies. 
The Earth is a gross object. Gross objects have very low velocities i.e. they 
require more time to cover a specific distance in space. Gods on the other hand, 
are subtle hence they are capable of traversing space within a few seconds. That 
is why one year on the earth is equivalent to just one day of heaven. 

Science in the worship of Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri. The function of the 


1. Emitting waves of Knowledge, Devotion and renunciation. 
Predominantly 'sattva' waves of knowledge, 'raja' waves of devotion and 
'tama' waves of Renunciation (Vairagya) are emitted by the 'Shivpindi'. 
During Mahashivratri, the emission increases by 30 percent. 

2. The "Shivpindi" emits subtle vibrations of chaitanya, bliss and peace. 
During the Mahashivratri, the emission increases by twenty-five percent. 
This helps purify the subtle-body of one who worships the Shivpindi on 
this day. The "sun" or the "moon" channels in the body get activated as 
per necessity. The capacity to absorb the sattvaguna and chaitanya also 
increases. Due to the presence of the unmanifest Shiva principle in the 
Shivpindi and the vibrations of peace emitted, the Shivpindi remains cool 
and the mind too experiences peace. Worship of Shivpindi with devotion, 
activates the dormant Shiva principle. An offering of puffed rice and milk 
reaches Lord Shiva in the subtle form. 

3. Receiving the "tarak or marak tatva (element)" as required. There is a 
confluence of the manifest and the unmanifest elements along with the 
"tarak and marak tatva" in the Shivpindi. (Tarak = Saviour; Marak = 
Destroyer). That is how worshipers receive the required element. The 
temperature of the Shivpindi increases due to the emission of the marak 
tatva and there one experiences bliss. Similarly, when the tarak tatva is 
emitted, the temperature drops and one experiences peace and bliss. The 
best definition of the Lord Shiva worship is to practice it at the Sacred 
Feast Mahashivratri, but also daily. The best definition of Shiva worship 
is to experience it soulfully. While, the best definition of yoga is to live it 
sincerely. However, the best definition of the God, the Lord Shiva is to 
love Him, and only Him, unconditionally. 


Bilvapatra (Bel leaves) 

Particles of BtiBPti 

(Eternal Peace) emanating 

from Skivi'tatbf* 

Generation of 

Siiakli (Divine Energy) 


Trigvriatfiiak frequences 

(\ Tki]iKTitif> cuinprKEnj; 

of Sum<it r i','..','"i'. Jama 


Subtle Drawing of Bet Leaf 

Bilvapatra contains two percent Shiva tatva. By offering bilvapatra to the 
Shivpindi on Mahashivratri, the manifest Shiva tatva near the stalk of the 
bilvapatra gets activated. Due to this, waves of chaitanya as well as Shiva tatva 
are emitted by the bilvapatra. The bilvapatra attracts twenty percent of the Shiva 
tatva present in the Shivpindi towards itself. By immersing this bilvapatra 
in water or by placing it in grains, the Shiva tatva present in the bilvapatra is 
transmitted to them. The Shiva tatva in the bilvapatra is activated to a larger 
extent on Mondays when it transmits ten percent of the Shiva tatva and sattvikta. 
On other days only one percent of the Shiva tatva is activated in the bilvapatra. 


Offering bilvapatra to the Shivpindi and chanting the mantra, with each offering 
is known as bilvarchan. Continue offering the bilvapatra until the pindi 
is completely covered. Offer the bilvapatra from the lower part of the pindi. 
By starting from the feet of the idol, more benefit is derived and the idol 
can be covered completely. 

Chanting on Mahashivratri: 


Om Namah Shivaya" 


What does the name Shiva mean? 

a. The word Shiva has been derived by reversing the letters of the word vash. 
Vash means to enlighten; thus the one who enlightens is Shiva. 
He remains radiant and also illuminates the universe. 

b. He is the auspicious and prosperity-bestowing principle. 


The Unique Attributes of Lord Shiva 

For Meditation and Contemplation 

When in meditation, we concentrate; we focus our attention on one particular 
subject. But when we meditate we feel that we have the capacity deep within us 
to see many things while visualising the Lord Shiva, dealing with many things 
as His personality, the Entity, He now is, welcoming all what is His. When we 
meditate, we try to expand ourselves, like a bird spreading its wings. We try to 
expand our personal consciousness and enter into the Collective or Universal 
Consciousness where there is no fear, jealousy or doubt but only joy, peace and 
divine power. Meditation means our conscious growth into the Divine 

Through concentration we become one-pointed; while through meditation we 
expand our consciousness into the "Vast" and enter into its consciousness. 

However in contemplation we grow into the "Vast" itself, and its consciousness 
becomes our very own. In contemplation we are at once in our deepest 
concentration and our highest meditation. The truth that we have seen and felt in 
meditation, we grow into and become totally one with in contemplation. 
Contemplation means our conscious oneness with the Lord Shiva and the eternal 
Absolute or Supreme. 

If we meditate on the Lord Shiva as a specific divine quality of the Supreme, we 
find ourselves in the light, peace and bliss of the Supreme. Our mind is calm and 
quiet in the vastness of Infinity. 

In contemplation it is not like that. In contemplation through the Lord Shiva as 
our devotion now goes to Him, we feel that we are holding within ourselves the 
entire cosmos with all what it contains. In contemplation there is no thought, 
form or idea. In contemplation everything is merged into the oneness of the 
Cosmic or Universal Consciousness. 

The Lord Shiva, if you are his devotee, is your Master, next to your human guru 
if you have one. But, first of all the Lord Shiva is your and mine Eternal Guru as 
part of the Supreme (the Absolute). If you chant "OM (AUM)" as in "OM 
Namah Shivaha" soulfully, it will help you to link higher up into the Highest. 
Gratitude is always of paramount importance. 

If you are a sincere devotee of the Lord Shiva or the Lord Krishna, or any other 
God or Goddess, you enter in the spiritual boat. The Lord Shiva becomes then 
the boatman to take you to the Golden Shore. 


Meditate on His best loved picture, or having Him in your mind, while as such 
you enter into His Consciousness. Do not feel you are entering a foreign element 
or a foreign human or entity, but that you are as such entering into your highest 
part, your true self. The beautiful picture of Lord Shiva as God, your God and 
part of the Supreme, only serves as inspiration. When you meditate on the effigy 
of the Lord Shiva, whether it is His representation or Lingam, you enter into His 
Consciousness, and entering in His Consciousness is the highest form of 
meditation for those who consider themselves His devotees. Dedicated service is 
another form of meditation as plainly discribed in the Bhagavad Gita. When you 
work for the Supreme along the Lord Shiva or any other God or Goddess, the 
Divine Consciousness enters your consciousness, and you become innerly and 
spiritually elevated. Never be afraid to come to the Lord Shiva. 

Physical Attributes 

Just as the sun is the focal point of the solar system and 
the soul that of the body, the focal point of divine 
consciousness (chaitanya) in every object and pure 
particles (pavitrakas) is ga-aum. The flow from which ga- 
aum originates is gan gaha = Ganga. Ga-aum flows from 
Shiva's head. This is called the descent of the Ganga from 
Shiva's head. Since the river Ganga has a fraction of the 
principle of the spiritual Ganga, no matter how polluted it 
becomes, its purity is perpetually retained. Therefore, 
when compared to any other water in the world, the water 
from the Ganga is the purest. This is realised not only by 
those who can perceive the subtle dimensionbut also by 
scientific researchers. 


Shiva adorns the chandra (moon) on His forehead. The 
point where the three frequencies - affection (mamata), 
mercifulness (kshamashilata) and motherly love (vatsalya) 
originate is referred to as the chandra (moon). 
Consequently, one can conclude that chandrama (the 
moon principle) is the state in which the three attributes of 
affection, mercifulness and motherly love are present. 


Shankar is three-eyed, i.e. He can perceive events of the 
past, present and future. According to the science of Yoga 


the third eye means the Sushumna nadi (channel). 


One of the Names of Lord Shankar is Bhujanga-patihari. 
Bhujang means a serpent or pure particles (pavitrakas), 
pati means the nurturer and hari means one with a garland 
around His neck. Bhujangapatihari thus means the One 
who nurtures pure particles and wears them like a garland. 
Various serpents represent groups of pure particles. 
Though externally they appear like serpents, internally 
they are a kind of ladder. To make spiritual progress one 
has to climb up holding onto the tail of the serpent. Lord 
Shankar adorns serpents at nine points on His body - one 
on the head, one around the neck, one on each arm, one 
on each wrist, one around the waist and one on each thigh. 
This implies that His body is comprised of pure particles 
or that serpents of pure particles play all over the body of 
Lord Shankar who has the universe as His form. 


One performing severe austerities and the great yogi 
Shiva is always seated in a bandha or a mudra. His 
temperature rises due to heat generated by performing 
severe austerities. Therefore, He uses the Ganga, the 
moon and serpents which endow a cooling effect and lives 
on the snow-clad Kailas mountain. Short tempered. If 
someone disturbs His meditation the radiance generated 
by spiritual practice will be suddenly expelled and 
whoever is in front of Him will not be able to tolerate it, 
and gets destroyed. This is referred to as being 'reduced to 
ashes by Shankar's opening of the third eye. One who is 
willing to undergo any distress for the sake of imparting 
happiness to others 

The poison generated during the churning of the celestial 
ocean (samudramanthan) was burning the entire Universe 
but no deity came forward to accept it. At that time Shiva 
drank that poison and saved the world from destruction. 

One who has both, deities and demons, as His 




did Neither did demons like Banasur, Ravan, etc. 
worship Lord Vishnu nor did Lord Vishnu bestow any 
boon upon any demon. However, they worshipped Lord 
Shiva who blessed them. 

Master of the Since Lord Shiva is the master of spirits, His worshippers 
Spirit are generally not possessed by them. 

All science in the 
idol and the 
human form 

DrviTHt Ertrtrgy 

This represents the Brahman in the form of the word 
(shabda Brahman). Alphabets consisting of the sounds of 
fifty-two basic letters and the forms of fourteen 
Maheshvar verses (sutras) have generated from it. Later 
the universe was created from these. 


The Trident represents the following - The three 
components - sattva, raja and tama. The root of creation, 
sustenance and dissolution. Volition, knowledge and 

Noose (pash) 

The noose represents the noose of time (kalpash) (The 
rope in Lord Ganapati's hand too is the same). 


Application of holy ash (Bhasma). Tripundra refers to the 
three horizontal stripes of holy ash applied to the 
forehead. These stripes symbolise spiritual knowledge, 


purity and penance (spiritual practice of Yoga), so also 
they represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva. 

Wearing a rudraksha. 

Wearing a rudraksha when worshipping Lord Shiva is 
ideal. A rudraksha is reddish in colour with yellow stripes 
and is flat like a fish. On one side it has a slight opening 
which appears like an open mouth. 

The rudraksha converts light frequencies of deities from 
the universe into sound frequencies in the body of humans 
and vice versa. As a result, humans can absorb 
frequencies of deities and thoughts can get converted into 
the language of deities. 

A Genuine The rudraksha absorbs sama (sattva) frequencies. 

Rudraksha Similarly sama frequencies are emitted by its crests. A 

real rudraksha can be recognised by the vibrations felt by 
holding it in the hand. At that time the body absorbs 
thesama frequencies emitted by the rudraksha. 

Nowadays, mostly Vikrutaksha is sold as a rudraksha. 
This is the seed of a type of wild berry. Vikrutaksha is 
used for sacrificial fires of tantriks, black magic etc. 
by sorcerers. 

Ritualistic worship of the pindi. 

Only cold water and bel is offered to Lord Shankar's 
pindi. Neither is it bathed with milk and panchamrut 
(a mixture of milk, curds, ghee, sugar and honey) nor 
offered turmeric, vermilion (kumkum) or white 
consecrated rice (akshata). Milk and clarified butter 
(ghee) symbolise sustenance while turmeric is an 
underground stem and represents fertility of the soil that is 
creation. Vermilion is prepared from turmeric. Since Lord 
Shiva is the deity of dissolution, substances such as milk, 
vermilion and turmeric are not used in His worship. 



When circum-ambulating one should begin from the left 
side and continue till the channel of the shalunka from 
where the water offered during the ritualistic bathing 
(abhishek) flows. Without crossing it one should complete 
a circum-ambulation by moving in the reverse direction 
up to the other side of the channel. The flow of a shalunka 
is not crossed as it is the flow of energy which adversely 
affects the formation of semen and the five internal vital 
energies (pran vayu). 

Name of 

the "Namaha Shivaya" is Shiva's five-syllabled mantra. The 
Lord spiritual meaning of each of the five syllables is: na = 
Foremost deity of all the regions (lokas) ma = Bestower of 
supreme spiritual knowledge (gyan) and redeemer of the 
greatest of sins shi = Benevolent, serene and responsible 
for initiation by Lord Shiva va = Symbolic of a bull as the 
vehicle and Vasuki and Vamangi energy (shakti) ya = 
Auspicious abode of Supreme Bliss and Lord Shiva. 
Hence, obeisance (namaskar) to these five syllables. 

Dharmo Rakshati If you protect Dharma, Dharma will in turn protect you. 

Hinduism is more a way of life than a method of worship. 


Spirituality, Myths, Legends and Ritual Theory 

Among the many theories of myths, legends in all world religions without 
exception, the myth and ritual work together. The theory claims not that myths 
and rituals happen to go hand in hand but that they must. In its most 
uncompromising form, the theory contends that myths and rituals cannot exist 
without each other. In a milder form, the theory asserts that myths and rituals 
originally exist together but may subsequently go their separate ways. In its 
mildest form, the theory maintains that myths and rituals can arise separately but 
subsequently coalesce. 

In the stage of sheer magick there are rituals, and the routines involved is that of 
carrying out the prescribed directions, but no myths if there no gods or 
goddesses. In the stage of religion there are both myths and rituals, but they are 
barely connected. Myths describe the character and behaviour of gods and 
goddesses. Rituals seek to curry divine favour. Rituals may presuppose myths, 
which would suggest what activities would most please the gods and goddesses, 
but they are otherwise independent of myths. 

Whatever the actual nexus between myths and rituals turns out to be, the myth- 
ritualism theory remains absolutely valuable. It suggests aspects of myth that 
might otherwise be overlooked, notably, the relationship between "faith" (belief) 
and practice, between narrative and action. The theory also suggests parallels 
between myth and other cultural phenomena like science and literature that 
might otherwise get missed. 

Cosmogony is not a myth, or preferably it is no longer a myth. It has advanced 
so far along the road of rationalisation that only a very thin partition divides it 
from world systems which historians will innocently treat as purely rational 
constructions. Comparison with those systems shows that, when once the cosmic 
order has been formed, the next chapter should be an account of the origin of 
life. In the world philosophies, life arises from the interaction or intercourse of 
the separated elements: animal life is born out of the action of the heavenly heat 
on the moist slime of earth. 

The Gods and Goddesses are supernatural persons (entities), with human forms 
and characters, well-known in the world religions. So at this point we turn back 
into that world of mythical representation which the rationalised cosmogony had 
left so far behind. Sky and earth are re-transformed into Gods and Goddesses, 
whose love and hate, black and white are depicted in all human forms. 

New Year has an intensely dramatic character, reflected in particular sham fights 
between groups of cultic actors who represent the powers of chaos and the 


powers of the cosmos. In this battle, God (king or ruler) is the central figure, as 
head of those who represent the powers of order and life, as the Buddha 
Gautama, Lord Shiva, Krishna, Abraham, Moses, Jesus of Nazareth, etc. 
However, the dramatic presentation also characteristically includes a portrayal 
of the state of chaos which precedes the victory of cosmos. The destructive 
powers enjoy a temporary victory. Chaos reigns, either in the form of an 
unbridled frenzy, often of an ecstatic sexual type like a "Witches Sabbath" or in 
the form of a "Death Sabbath". 

If we want to study the real myth, not the literary exercise; if we want to know 
what the myth meant for mankind at large, not merely for poets, we draw 
ourselves towards the Sanskrit. That Sanskrit, known as the Vedic, has a 
sublime character from all other classical languages. Sanskrit is simple and 
direct, because it wants to convey information and not to display literary skill. 
Its is concerned not to amuse or astonish, but to impart that knowledge which is 
necessary for the welfare of mankind. What really mattered to the ancient 
Brahman, as it does to us and to everyone, was life; not merely keeping alive, 
but living well, enjoying bodily vigour for the full span allotted to man. To have 
life it is necessary to have food, to escape sickness and the wiles of enemies, and 
to have strong sons. 

The Brahmans' quest, in the words of the first hymn of the "Rigveda", is 
"wealth day by day, prosperity, glorious and abounding heroes. They pray to 
Soma to save them from disease, to prolong their years as the sun the days of 
spring, not to abandon them according to the desire of their foe, to save them 
from disease. 

Life depends on many things, food, rain and sun; on victory, skill and strength, 
unity, wise rule and obedience. An elaborate cult or ritual grew up designed to 
secure all these good things all that contributed to the full life. The ritual became 
so elaborate that its accurate transmission became more and more difficult. One 
or two recitals were not enough; it had to be committed to memory, and its 
meaning and its reasons had to be expounded in lesson after lesson. Satsangs 
and schools were formed, and from those institutions the voluminous literature 
which is known as the "Brahmanas." 

In this chapter, we are attempting to understand the meaning of Lord Shiva 
worship in our time exploring Shiva's iconography, taking us through Shaivite 
philosophy, beliefs, history, folklore and myth. Written in a simple narrative 
style, and interspersed at times with familiar and unfamiliar tales retold, the 
reaching young and old alike. 

Having said it, let us meditate on the God, Lord Shiva who wears the crescent 
moon as a crown, whose dazzling form is adorned by the five elements of the 


universe, who holds in his four hands the weapon of the axe, the deer, who is 
fulfillment and forgiveness, as his worshipper desires, who sits on the world 
lotus in perpetual repose, who is of wisdom, desire and action, who is the source 
and the goal of life and who will embrace all creatures at the end removing their 
fear of death. 

The Iconography of the Lord Shiva 

Lord Shiva, the Mahadeva, represents one of the three visible forms, or the 
functional aspects of the Supreme, namely, the creation, preservation and 
dissolution, that is, bringing the cosmos into existence, sustaining it and 
finally withdrawing it from existing. 

Lord Shiva represents the last of these three aspects, that is, dissolution or 
destruction of the cosmos. He is the destroyer and the restorer of the 
Universe or Cosmos. The other two aspects, the creation and the 
preservation, are represented respectively by Prajapati or Brahma, and 
Vishnu. Prajapati Brahma and Vishnu are Vedic gods. In the Rigveda, 
Prajapati and Brahma are mentioned as two gods, though both almost alike 
responsible for the act of Creation. Hence, in later Vedic literature, they 
merge into one entity, and are sometimes alluded to as Prajapati Brahma 
and sometimes as two synonymous terms alternating each other. In Puranic 
literature, Brahma gets pre-eminence and the term Prajapati is used only as 
the other name of Brahma to avoid monotonous repetition of the same 
nomenclature. Initially, that is, in the Rigveda, Vishnu is a subordinate type 
of god, but later by Puranic era, he attains the status of the Lord of the 
universe and the principal Vedic god. 

Lord Shiva as such, or as Mahadeva, is not alluded to in proper Vedas. The 
Rigveda, however, frequently mentions a brown complexioned sun-like 
brilliant and gold-like glowing animal- skin- wearing entity by the name of 
Rudra, or Ishan, who, as per the Rigvedic description, is synonymous of a 
violent non- Aryan jungle or tribal god capable of subduing, by his mighty 
arrows, even the most wild of animals. He did not hesitate even to kill 
human beings and sought delight in such destruction. Hence, the Rigveda is 
somewhat critical of his wildness and invokes him for not destroying his 
devotees, their ancestors, offspring, relatives and horses. It is only gradually 
and somewhat in simultaneity that the Rigveda softens and sophisticates 
him into a civil god of Aryan kind and includes him into the Vedic 
pantheon. The later Vedic literature identifies in Rudra the proto form of the 
subsequent Shiva. When Puranas perceived the formless God manifest in 
His triple function, which He performed as the Creator, Sustainer and 


Destroyer, both initially and finally, as well as always, they chose Lord 
Shiva to represent one of these functional aspects of Him and elevated him 
to the status of the Great Trinity. 

Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, 
Only the Time-Bound Manifestations of the Timeless 


Lord Shiva, as well as Brahma and Vishnu, do not represent the Supreme 
but only His functional aspects, which manifest in Creation, in sustaining 
the Creation and, finally, in withdrawing the Creation, which occurs after 
every kalpa, which is the scheduled age of each Creation. Obviously, after 
the Creation is withdrawn and the kalpa comes to an end, the Supreme 's 
functional aspects too disappear and so does the Great Trinity representing 
them. Thus, the Trinity, with each of Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu having a 
scheduled life-span, is the time-bound manifestation of the timeless One, 
that is, the Trinity disappears after its allotted life-span to re-appear when 
the next kalpa begins, but the Omnipresent neither appears nor disappears 
because He is always there before the time began and after its scale has 
exhausted. In Indian cosmological tabulation, Shiva's life-span is double of 
the Vishnu's and Vishnu's double of the Brahma's. Brahma's life-span 
comprises of 120 Brahma years, which are equivalent to 300 million, 9 
hundred thousand, 17 thousand and 376 years of human calendar. 

Shiva Precedes Trinity-Partners 

Lord Shiva, thus different from what the Puranas proclaim, is not Brahma's 
creation. He rather precedes his Trinity counterparts, Brahma and Vishnu, 
on time scale. This pre-eminence of Shiva over others as much reflects in 
their related theological chronology and availability of their iconic 
representations in visual arts. Brahma and Vishnu have their roots in the 
Vedas, and not before. Lord Shiva has a pre-Vedic origin, as his worship 
cult seems to have been in vogue amongst the Indus dwellers, even around 
3000 B. C. The excavations of various archaeological sites in the Indus 
valley reveal two sets of archaeological finds that suggest the prevalence of 
the cult of worshipping both, his anthropomorphic as well as symbolic 
representations. This excavated material includes a number of terracotta 
seals representing a yogi icon and the phallus type baked clay objects, 
obviously the votive lings, suggestive of some kind of phallus -worship cult 


of the non- Aryan settlers of the Indus cities. Seated in meditative posture, 
the stern looking Yogi figure wears a typical head-dress made of buffalo 
horns and is surrounded by various animal icons, lion, elephant, buffalo- 
type bull, rhinoceros etc. and the bird forms above. 

In some seals, this Yogi figure consists of three heads. That the symbolic 
phallus icons and the anthropomorphic representations relate to one and the 
same entity becomes obvious from the iconographic thrust, which defines 
the Yogi form. One of the most significant cardinals of this Yogi 
iconography, and perhaps more so than others, is its well erect and 
emphatically exposed phallus, similar to the Urddh-ling Shiva icons, a cult 
of Shiva, which dominated Shaivite sculptural art for centuries from around 
the period of Kushanas. These finds, datable to the period from 3000 B. C. 
to 1000 B. C. or even later, show the continuity of such worship cult till 
much after the Vedic era. This is further affirmed by the Rigveda itself. The 
Rigveda at least twice talks of the phallus worshipping non-Aryan tribes and 
vehemently condemns the practice. 

Shiva in Later Vedic Cult and in The 


The Vedas, in their later cult, admit into Vedic pantheon the jatadhari holy Shiva 
with all his manifestations, namely the bow and arrows carrying archer Sharva, 
the all pervading Bhava, the benevolent Shambhu and the animal-skin wearer 
Krittivasanah, but do not approve his phallus worship. 

In Brahmanical order, Shvetashvara Upanishad is perhaps the earliest treatise 
that refers, though not directly, to this aspect of Shiva-worship with some degree 
of reverence when it calls him the Lord of all yonis, that is, the commander of 
genital faculties of all living ones. It is, however, in the Mahabharata that his 
phallus worship has been directly alluded to. The Mahabharata widely follows 
the Indus perception of Shiva. The Mahabharata, in tune with the Indus Shiva, 
perceives him as Trishira, or Chaturmukha, that is, having three heads, or four, 
as Digvasas, that is, without cloth, as Urddh-ling, that is, with upward erect 
phallus, and as yogadhyaksha, that is, the Lord of Yoga. The Mahabharata goes 
a little ahead and conceived him also as five headed, four facing the four 
directions and fifth looking upwards, that is the guardian of the entire cosmos. It 
is from this five headed Shiva concept that his Sadashiva form seems to have 
evolved, as these five heads also symbolise five powers- para, adi, icchha, jnana 
and kriya, that is, all that is perishable, all that is timeless, and the desire, 
knowledge and act, of which the entire creation comprise. 


Mahabharata's epithet of Pashupati for Shiva is also an adherence to the Indus 
iconography of Shiva image. The Mahabharata perceives him further as 
Shardularupa, Vyalarupa and in many other animal forms and as Vrishvaha, or 

The Skand Purana numbers his animal heads as seven, two of which, namely 
that of the goat and the horse, he had given respectively to Brahma and Vishnu. 

Thus again the number of heads comes to the same five as perceived in the 
Mahabharata. In visual arts, this Mahabharata iconic vision of Shiva has been 
widely followed. Shiva's Trishira, Chaturmukha, Yogi, Pashupati, Vrishvaha 
and Urddh-ling images, whatever their medium, the stone, canvas, metals and so 
on, are quite in vogue in Indian arts. The animal headed Shiva is a rarity. 
However, in visual arts, which allow greater scope for imagination to operate, 
such as painting, Shiva has been depicted sometimes with multiple animal 
heads, although to avoid inclusion of his human face these heads are planted on 
the form of Hanuman, who is Shiva's incarnation. Such Hanuman forms have 
heads of animals that have attained mythical heights, say, the horse-headed god 
Hayagriva, the boar-headed Varah, the great eagle Garuda, and the jungle 
monarch lion or Simha. Such five-headed and ten-armed figures not only carry 
most of Shiva's attributes in these hands but such figures also stand upon the 
form of Apasamara, one of the most characteristic features of Shiva 
iconography. This iconographic perception defines, on one hand, Shiva as 
Pashupati, the lord of animals, and on the other as containing within him the 
entire animal world. 

Shiva f s Pre-Aryan Origin 

Obviously, Shiva had a pre- Aryan origin but where, when and how he came into 
being, or say into human perception, is not known. This much is, however, 
certain that a god like him was the presiding deity of the Indus inhabitants and 
he was worshipped as both, iconically as well as symbolically, that is, as 
Pashupati and Mahayogi and as Ling. 

This in all certainties seems to the initial form of Shiva. May be, the Indus 
inhabitants shared their god with West Asian settlers who worshipped a similar 
god Teshav. Teshav, too, was a bull riding deity like Vrishvaha Shiva. He also 
carried, like Shiva, a trident, pinakin, the bow, arrows, which shot as lightening, 
danda, the rod, parashu, the axe, and so on. Incidentally, Teshav's consort was 
also named Maa and was worshipped as Jaganmata, that is, the world mother. 
Her name so much corresponds with Shiva's consort Uma who too is 


worshipped as Jagat-janani, the mother of the world. Jaganmata sounds so much 
like Indus Mother Goddess. Both, Shiva's consort Uma and Teshav's consort 
Maa rode a lion. Images of Jaganmata, recovered in excavations, have 
honeybees hovering around her face. One of the Uma's forms so closely 
resembles with this honeybee hovering image of Maa. Markandeya Purana 
alludes to Uma's relation with honeybees, or bhramaris, when it calls her as 
Bhramaridevi. May be Shiva's consort had some prior tradition of her 
association with honeybees. It is for such reasons that the known historian Roy 
Chowdhari, in his Studies in Indian Antiquities, emphatically holds that Rudra- 
Shiva had some kind of genetic relationship with various gods whose images 
have been recovered from Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Indus Valley. 

Shiva in Vedic Pantheon 

Whatever the Lord Shiva's origin, the pre-Aryan or from Brahma's frown, as 
claims the subsequent Puranic tradition, the all assimilating Aryan culture and 
Vedic religious cult elevated him into its own Order and placed him always on 
par with its other two great gods, Vishnu and Brahma, and sometimes even 
above them. 

Later Vedic literature invested him with various attributes and details of his 
person. He has been conceived as thousand eyed, animal skin clad and as 
possessed of long hair braided into a crown-like shape, the jatamukuta, blue 
neck, black abdomen, blood-red back and as containing in him all medicinal 
herbs and drugs, that is, possessed of the power to redeem every one of all 
kinds of ailments and the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, Vedas perceived 
him initially as the violent jungle god of non- Aryan kind but later they 
discovered the other aspect of his being, that is, the well meaning benevolent 
Shiva. It was this perception of Shiva that seems to have prevailed all after 
and defined his all subsequent forms, manifestations and visions. Brahmans 
and Upanishads identify this Vedic perception as Shiva's two aspects, one that 
of the destroyer and the other of the auspicious benevolent divinity. The 
Mahabharata identified these two aspects as Ghora and Shiva. Of these Ghora 
has been equated with fire and Shiva, also mentioned as Maheshvara, has been 
vested with the deeply spiritual and auspicious saumyarupa, that is, serene and 
sublime divine being. 

Shiva in Myths and Legends 

In the course of time, the tradition of faith, both oral and scriptural, and the folk 
and urbanized, wove around Shiva hundreds of myths and legends and invested 


his image and visual forms with numerous new dimensions and meaning. The 
violent jungle god of Vedas and the grim looking horn wearing Yogi of Indus 
emerges upon the altar of the believing ones, on painter's canvas, in metal 
casters' mould and in the strokes of hammer and chisel, as the harmless 
Bholanath, the innocence Lord and the good incarnate, as the supreme auspice, 
the most formidable of divine powers, the paramount lover and the holiest 
model of the Vedic family cult. The term Shiva becomes synonymous of the 
'auspicious', good and well being and in him alone, India's all-time maxim, 
"Satyam, Shivam, Sundaram", that is, he alone is truthful, benevolent and 
beautiful, finds its true meaning. In his context, love becomes a divine 
phenomenon and family the holiest institution. He never codifies his conduct nor 
sets it to any established rule, but he is all the way the most devoted husband, 
who passionately loves his consort, and a unique father. He marries Sati, the 
daughter of Brahma's son Daksha-Prajapati against her father's wishes. Daksha 
organises a great yajna and to slight Shiva does not invite him. 

Sati, in hope to rectify her father's error, goes to attend the yajna, though Shiva 
does not approve it. Instead of correcting himself, Daksha humiliates Sati also 
for marrying a tribal brute. Sati, unable to bear her husband's insult by her 
father, ends her life by immolating herself into yajna-fire. The outraged Shiva, 
who madly loved Sati, longed to avenge Daksha's act and created out of his 
frowns Virabhadra, a young warrior endowed with all of Shiva's powers to 
destroy Daksha's yajna. 

After Virabhadra has destroyed the yajna, entire yajna-bhumi and the capital of 
Daksha, Shiva retires to forest and wanders in wilderness for thousands of years 
till Uma, the daughter of Himalaya, and hence also known as Parvati, that is, one 
born of the Parvata, or mountain, is able to win his love by her long rigorous 
penance. This time he has in Uma, or Parvati, not a mere consort he loved madly 
but also the most accomplished woman possessed of paramount beauty, the most 
caring and devoted wife and as much loving mother. To complete the holy 
family, they have, or have been conceived with, five sons, two, Karttikeya and 
Ganesh, the real ones, and three, Vanasura, Virabhadra and Nandin, the adopted 
ones, though none of the five were born of his consort's womb. Ganesh was born 
of Parvati's body elements and Karttikeya those of Shiva. 

Brahma Chastised and Shiva's Repentance 

Indian mythology accounts how Brahma, the creator of all beings and all 
things, was fascinated by the beauty of his own created Sarasvati, and thereby 
his daughter. To escape her father's notice, Sarasvati turned herself into a 
female deer. But Brahma did not fail to take note of it and converted himself 


into a male deer and began chasing her to have sex with her. The moral being 
as Shiva was, he did not approve a father molesting his own daughter. He did 
not fail to notice this immorality of the deer turned Brahma when he saw him 
chasing Sarasvati disguised as she-deer and to chastise him, he, the great 
archer as he was, shot at Brahma, the male deer. To save himself from Shiva's 
arrows Brahma returned to his real form but not before he had incurred some 
loss. He had lost one of his five heads. Whatever Brahma's immorality, 
Shiva's act amounted to Brahma-hatya, the sin of killing a Brahmin. As the 
related legend has it, the sin of the Brahma-hatya rose from where Brahma's 
head fell and stuck to his wrists. Failing to free himself of it, Shiva sought 
advice and was suggested to beg and live on begging as repentance till the 
Brahma-hatya fell down and freed him from its clutches. With the kapal, the 
skull made of Brahma's dissected head, in his hand, Shiva moved to the Oak 
Forest and wandered there for many thousand years. Ultimately, the Brahma- 
hatya separated from his body and fell down on earth. It was thus that his 
Mahabhikshuka and Kapalin forms evolved. 

Another tradition has it differently. Deer turned Sarasvati ran to save herself 
from Brahma and Brahma to save himself from Shiva's arrows hid in the sky 
amidst planets and yet lie hidden as two stars. Brahma's fifth head was 
removed, according to this legend, for a different reason. Brahma and Vishnu 
often claimed their relative priority over the other. Once they set to settle it 
and decided that whosoever first discovered the end of Shiva's Jyotirling 
would be acknowledged as his superior by the other. 

The Jyotirling descended deep below the earth and rose above into sky and 
both ends were unfathomable. Brahma proceeded upwards and Vishnu 
downward but both ends were far from their reach. Brahma, however, 
connived with a Champaka or Ketaki flower and using it as witness claimed to 
have reached his end of the Jyotirling. Annoyed by Brahma's falsehood Shiva 
appeared bursting the Jyotirling and to chastise Brahma for his lie removed 
Brahma's fifth head by the nail of his thumb. 

Shiva, the Bholanath in the Real Sense of the 


As he was a moral being, so he was simple, innocent, generous, benevolent 
and easily manageable, and hence, even the wicked ones often won his favour 
and boons of invincible powers and sometimes used them even against him. 
He, however, as readily punished them when he knew their designs and 
intentions. Ganga was mad in love for him and wished to unite with him by 


whatever mean, fair or fowl. When Bhagiratha did rigorous penance to bring 
Ganga from heaven to the earth for his ancestors' death rituals and redemption, 
Ganga designed to fulfill her long cherished desire of reaching Shiva. She 
appeared before Bhagiratha and agreed to emerge on the earth but warned at 
the same time that her current, unless Shiva took her on his head, would 
cleave the earth. Bhagiratha underwent another round of penance, pleased 
Shiva and got his prayer granted. But, when Ganga landed on his head and 
showed her supremacy, Shaiva kept her arrested into his hair till she herself 
prayed him to let her be released. For long containing Ganga into his hair, 
Shiva becomes known as Gangadhara Shiva. 

It was the same with Jalandara, who was caused by Shiva himself. Shiva had 
opened his third eye for punishing Indra but on Brahispati's intervention let the 
fire emitting from it fall into the ocean. Out of this fire and from ocean's womb 
rose a male child. As he rose from jala, the water, he was named Jalandara. 
Later, when he grew into a gold-like glowing youth, he was married to the 
daughter of Kalanemi, the founder-father of demon clans. Jalandara was now 
exceptionally powerful and wished to drive out Indra and his crew from 
Indraloka. Indra prayed Brahma for help but he was helpless against his might. 
Vishnu declined to act against him, as, being ocean born, he considered him his 
brother-in-law. Finally, the great sage Narad incited Jalandara to obtain Parvati, 
the most beautiful woman in all three worlds, and thus put him against Shiva, as 
he knew that Shiva alone could destroy him. Arrogant Jalandara challenged 
Shiva to hand him over his consort and in the process became victim of Shiva's 
wrath and got killed. Something of the similar kind happened in the case of 
Ravana, the king of Lanka. Pleased by his penance Shiva blessed him with the 
boon of immortality. This bred in Ravana vanity and arrogance. This vain and 
arrogant Lanka ruler wished to have Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiva, shifted 
to Lanka. He went to Kailash and to uproot it began shaking it. His act of 
uprooting it sent tremors across the Mountain. Shiva perceived Ravana's 
arrogance and was annoyed. To punish Ravana he pressed the Mountain by the 
thumb of his foot, but before it crushed Ravana, he prayed for Lord's mercy and 
the compassionate Lord forgave him. Out of this compassionate nature of Shiva 
there emerged his Ravananugraha-murti, that is, the form of him who was kind 
to Ravana. 

Shiva in Saumya and Raudra-rupas 

Consequently, Lord Shiva's divine perception as well as iconic visualisation 
developed into two directions, one growing out of his serene sublime 
benevolent Saumyarupa and the other out of his awe-striking Raudra-rupa. 


Even in his Saumyarupa, contrary to his Vaishnava counterparts, that is, 
Vishnu, Brahma or even Indra, whom Puranas define using feudal terms and 
iconography, Shiva is a simpler being, an amalgam of both, the Raudra and 
the Saumya rupas. In both aspects, jatamukuta is his crown, elephant hide his 
cloak, lion skin his loincloth, snakes his necklace, yajnopavita and other 
ornaments, bhang his favored drink and the shade of a roadside tree his castle. 
He is delighted in dance and dances for both, to create as well as to destroy, 
and in lasya as well as in Tandava and his Tandava is the Anand-tandava as it 
aims at re-creating and setting the cycle of creation-destruction-and recreation 
in motion. 

He assists Devas, the gods, in their exploits and battles against demons but 
unlike them and always differently and in mightier way. Both, the gods and the 
demons, wish to be immortalized and for obtaining the immortalising nectar join 
hands to churn ocean, which contained such nectar. But before the ocean yields 
nectar, there emerges from it the all-annihilating venom. Even by its vapours it 
begins to suffocate the entire creation. All, gods and demons, flee to save their 
lives leaving the creation to its destiny. Shiva comes to rescue. He deposits the 
venom into his throat and saves the creation from its devastating effect. Stored 
perpetually in the throat, the venom renders it blue and gives Shiva yet another 
name of Neelakantha, that is, the blue throated one. It was in consideration to 
such exploits that in subsequent days the Vaishnavites and Shaivites were seen 
with daggers-drawn on the question of the pre-eminence of their respective 
gods. Ultimately the wise ones of both sects had to discover for the votive 
images the Harihara form, which combined Hari and Hara, that is, Vishnu and 
Shiva, into one sanctum image and inspired sectarian unity. 

In his purer Raudra-rupa, besides what the Vedas and Puranas perceived in it, 
these aspects farther expand. He is now perceived as Bhairava, Kapalika, 
Kalabhairava, Mahakala and in similar other terrific forms. He is the presiding 
deity of cremation ground, which is his loving abode. He rejoices dancing 
around a burning pyre and as much upon a dead body. The dark nights, when 
howls of jackals, wolves and other ignominious animals echoed, are his chosen 
hours to operate. These jackals and other animals living on human flesh are, 
otherwise too, his best companions. Bhairava wears around his neck the garland 
of human skulls and around his waist the girdle of dismembered human hands. 
Now, besides snake ornaments, scorpions make his earrings and ghostly spirits 
dance around him. The human skull is his cup and ashes of a burnt corpse his 
talc, with which he smears and adorns his body. In ritual worship, wine and 
flesh are his chosen offerings. 


In these terrific forms of Shiva Kali, Smashan-Kali, Mahakali, Chhinnamasta, 
Chamunda, Vagulamukhi etc. are his female counterparts, perceived in Puranas 
often as his consorts. 

Bhairava, howsoever terrific his form, has his softer aspects when seated under a 
canopy or riding his Nandin he represents such beautiful musical modes as the 
Raga Bhairava, or Raga Kedara. 

The Shiva Lingam 

Images of Cosmic Manhood in Art and Mythology 

The renowned sage Bhrigu once ventured 
to the abode of Lord Shiva, wanting to 
consult him on an important spiritual 
matter. On reaching, he knocked the door 
of Shiva's residence. There was no reply. 
He knocked again, this time a little louder. 
No avail. The knocking turned to 
pounding and then to a desperate beating. 
Finally Shiva emerged, taking his own 
time. He had his wife Parvati on his left 

Obviously, the Great Lord had thought it 
fit to first complete his lovemaking with 
the goddess, rather than immediately 
divert his attention to the venerated 
ascetic. Incensed at the treatment meted 
out to him, the sage cursed Shiva that 
henceforth, since he was so fond of 
making love, he would be worshipped in the image of his organ of generation, 
rather than his anthropomorphic representation. Thus, to this day, Shiva is 
worshipped in the form of the male organ of procreation, often alone, and 
frequently conjoined with the corresponding female organ, which is sculpted as 
a receptacle to receive Shiva's seed. 

This representation of Shiva is known as the lingam. The word lingam literally 
means a "sign" or distinguishing mark. Thus says the Lingam Purana: "The 
distinctive sign by which one can recognize the nature of something is called 


There are variations on the birth of this symbol of Lord Shiva, some of which 
ascribe an esoteric and abstract origin to it. For example when Shiva is 
visualised as the intangible primordial Creative Power, the lingam is said to be 
his sign (symbol) which can be worshipped by his followers, who require a 
concrete entity to focus their prayers on. This stream of thought however does 
not negate the phallic connotations of the lingam. Its literal meaning as a 
distinguishing mark links these two interpretations. Consider a newborn male 
child. What is the sign which distinguishes its sex? 

Thus, the phallus is the lingam, the symbol of Shiva's manhood, and of which 
the human organ is just a microcosmic reflection. 

Another instructive legend describes why the lingam is believed to be one of the 
most potent emblems in Hindu ideals. It all started with Brahma and Vishnu, 
who were arguing over their relative supremacy. Their vain arguments were 
interrupted by a super luminous glow from a strange and blazing pillar, its shape 
reminiscent of the lingam. Both of them sped towards this indescribable flaming 
light, which grew before their eyes into infinity, piercing the earth and extending 
through the heavens. Overwhelmed and terrified by the unfathomable vision, the 
two gods decided to seek the beginning and end of this burning immensity. 
Brahma taking the form of a swan flew upwards, and Vishnu dove down 
acquiring the shape of a boar. Both of the gods however, could not fathom the 
extent of this fiery column at either end, and returned exhausted and bewildered 
to the level they had started from. At that moment, the central part of the pillar 
split open and Shiva revealed himself in his full glory. Overawed, both Brahma 
and Vishnu bowed before him. Thunderous laughter, or the sound of AUM, 
issued from the pillar, filling the sky. 

Primarily, the glowing, flaming lingam was a pillar of fire, connecting heaven 
and earth. It had no end and no beginning, but it had direction, upwards, as does 
the earthly fire. In metaphysical terms, it was (is), the vertical axis which both 
holds apart and joins heaven and earth, dividing and uniting them at the same 
time, an apt symbol of cosmic integrity. Like the Tree of Life, it is both the 
foundation and support that ensures equilibrium between heaven and earth. 

In Vedic hymns, Rudra (an epithet for Shiva) is identified with Agni, who in 
these sacred texts is deified as the carrier of the sacrificial offerings to the gods 
for whom they are intended. Hence, Agni is the mediator between men and 
gods, and acts as a metaphysical bridge between the two, just like the cosmic 
lingam. A pertinent observation here is that every creative process is 
accompanied by the generation of heat. Indeed the sexual act is nothing but the 
offering of the seed of life into the sacred fire of love. Hence, Agni, the God of 


Fire, is eminently suited as a metaphoric emblem of the tejas (creative heat) of 
Shiva, both metaphysically and physically. 

In this context it is interesting to note that in temples where the linga is 
worshipped, there is often a conical pot (Skt. Dharapatra), kept hanging over it. 
At the bottom of this vessel is a small hole, from which water drips 
continuously. The idea is to cool the 'fiery' lingam. In the shrine, Shiva is 
eternally in embrace of the goddess. By entering the sacred enclosure we are, in 
a sense, interrupting his amours. Thus water is poured to stifle the hotheaded 
god's temper. Shiva is Bhairava (quick-tempered), but he is also Ashutosh (One 
who calms down quickly). Indeed, a devotee needs to calm his god before 
asking for favors. 

Another description of the origin of the lingam gives a more sensuous portrayal. 
According to this view, there once lived in a forest, a group of hermits with their 
wives. At some point of time, Shiva ventured their way, resplendent in his naked 
glory. The virtuous wives, the very epitomes of chastity, lost all their moral 
qualms, and went berserk with desire at the sight of his tempting body. In 
addition to their restraint, they also shed their inhibitions, ornaments, and 
clothes, and embraced this naked stranger in a wild, uncontrolled frenzy. 

In one version, the forest sages gave a similar curse to Shiva as Bhrigu above. A 
second source says that naturally angered by this unabashed display of passion 
by their better halves, they snatched out Shiva's phallus and threw it on the 
ground. In a sacred twist to the tale, it is believed that it broke into twelve pieces 
when it struck the earth, and at each of the spots a pilgrimage centre sprung up. 
These twelve sacred sites are today known as the 'Twelve Jyotirlingas,' and are 
important destinations in the itinerary of a Shaivite pilgrim. The word 
Jyotirlinga itself means a 'linga of light,' thus further cementing the association 
of Shiva's phallus with the cosmic pillar of light. 

Yet another legend says that the severed lingam of Shiva proved to be 
proverbially too hot to handle. Falling to the ground, it did not come to rest, but 
moved about, burning anything and everything that came in its way. Even the 
combined efforts of all the gods could not restrain its fierce fieriness. Finally it 
was Mother Earth, whom the lingam penetrated, who managed to quench it 
inside her womb. 

In this regard it must also be stressed here that though Shiva is visualized as an 
ithyphallic deity, his true message is not a licence to licentiousness. 


According to Agehananda Bharati, Shiva's erect organ connotes the very 
opposite in this context. It stands for 'seminal retention,' and represents complete 
yogic control of the senses. Shiva's linga is always vertical, pointing upwards as 
the phallus of an accomplished yogi, with the semen (Sanskrit, virya) rising up, 
rather than discharging itself. 

Here a parallel is drawn with the uncoiled energy of kundalini, which rises and 
climbs the length of its path. Indeed the vertical is the direction of the sacred; it 
is a symbol of ascent, pointing to heaven and transcendent regions. The 
spermatozoid substance when reabsorbed through sexual abstinence, nourishes 
the cerebral matter. Rising, according to yogic formula, through the subtle 
channels flanking the backbone, it renders the intellectual faculties more acute. 
The Yogi perceives sexual energy as though it were coiled up at the base of the 
spine, which is why it is called kundalini (coiled) and likened to a sleeping 
snake. When, by means of mental concentration, it awakens and unwinds its 
coils, it rises like a column of fire toward the zenith, toward the top of the skull 
and pierces it to reach the transcendent worlds. Shiva's liberated phallus 
represents this illuminating power rising heavenward beyond the material world. 
Thus is the linga likened to a pillar of light, guiding us to true knowledge. 

The Two Images of Lord Shiva 

Images of Shiva are of two kinds: iconic (anthropomorphic) and aniconic. The 
former represents Shiva as a human being while the latter envisages an 
abstract origin for him. In this manner is Shiva different from other deities. 
The images of all other deities bestow only sensuous enjoyment since they are 
invariably represented in an anthropomorphic form, appealing solely to the 
sense organs. But Shiva grants both enjoyment and spiritual release. As an 
icon, he has the body of man, but in his aniconic form he is visualized as the 
cosmic pillar. Yet this pillar also evokes his phallus. As an abstract shape, the 
pillar symbolizes a purely conceptual reality that cannot be sensed in material 
terms. Visually however, the shape of the cylindrical pillar with a rounded top 
resembles that of the phallus. Also when the time came for Shiva to reveal 
himself to both Brahma and Vishnu, he did so in the form of a lingam. Thus 
the lingam is an object of the greatest sanctity, more sacred than any 
anthropomorphic image of Shiva. Not surprisingly thus, the innermost 
sanctuary of all Shiva temples is reserved for the lingam, while the outer 
precincts of the sacred architecture may show him in his human form. Indeed, 
though his iconic images abound, no such image ever occupies the centre of 
attention in a Shiva temple, this honour being reserved exclusively for his 


According to Stella Kramrisch, the lingam of Shiva has three levels of 
signification, these are: 

1). As a sign of Shiva: This is evident in the literary meaning of the word 
lingam,' and also in the fact that the lingam fell from Shiva's own body. 
Indeed, God resides in whatever is part of god. 

2). The Lingam as Phallus: This is depicted in the tale of the curse of sage 
Bhrigu, and Shiva's violation of the chaste wives of the ascetics in the forest. 

3). The Lingam as made up of cosmic substance: Established in the tale of the 
rivalry of Brahma and Vishnu. 

In a different three-fold division, it is believed that the linga contains within 
itself all the three divinities making up the Indian trinity of Supreme Godhead, 
namely Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Brahma abides in the lower part that is 
hidden inside the earth. Vishnu occupies the middle portion of the linga that is 
covered by the pedestal, and finally there is Shiva, in the top portion that is 
visible above the pedestal. 

The Shiva portion (Rudra-bhaga) is also known as 'puja-ansha,' or the part of the 
linga that is to be worshipped. The Vishnu part is identified with Devi ('yonis tu 
jagad-dhatri Vishnu-svarupini). The Rudra-bhaga is said to be masculine, 
Vishnu part feminine, and the Brahma part neuter. There is a logical framework 
behind this identification. Shiva's masculinity is obvious because of his phallic 
connotations, while Vishnu is often visualized as a woman in ancient 
mythology. This has its origin in the incident, when to deprive the demons of the 
nectar of immortality, Vishnu took on the form of a woman, aptly named 
Mohini (one who bewitches). Lastly Brahma, as the creator, represents that 
primordial unmanifest state which precedes all creation. In this archetypal state 
there is no perceptible duality, and no distinction of positive and negative forces. 
Only when there is a tendency to create does the first spark of duality appear in 
this undifferentiated stratum. This duality has the character of complementary 
poles of attraction, which is eventually manifested in the whole of creation by 
male and female characteristics. Hence Brahma, by virtue of preceding the 
duality inherent in creation, is non-dual, neither male, nor female. 

Most commonly, in the sanctuaries where it is worshipped, the lingam is 
represented surrounded by the female organ of generation, the yoni. The yoni 
grasps the lingam, and indeed it is only when the phallus, the giver of semen, is 
surrounded by the yoni that procreation can take place. From the relation of 
lingam and yoni, the whole world arises. Everything therefore bears the 


signature of the lingam and the yoni. Each individual lingam that enters a womb 
and procreates is a harbinger of divinity, and engaging in a sacred act. 

Brahma has for his cognisance, the lotus. For Vishnu it is the discus; and Indra 
has his thunderbolt. But we ordinary mortals do not carry any of the 
distinguishing characteristics of these gods. On the other hand, each of us does 
have either a lingam or a womb. Hence all creatures of this world are but a part 
of the composite image of the Shiva lingam, grasped by the womb of the 

Since the lingam is shown to encompass the trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) 
and also all creatures of the earth, it is safely logical to say that those ancient 
honoured who conceived of this awesome symbol were right in deducing that 
the entire living world, nay the entire universe, is a part of the lingam of Shiva. 

Worship of the Lingam 

The sect of Shiva worshippers known as Lingayats are distinguishable by the 
miniature lingam they wear on their bodies throughout their lives. It is kept in a 
silver receptacle hung around the neck, and is believed to act both as a 
protective talisman and an amulet to defeat negative influences. 

The Lingayata's are a unique community who do not believe in the caste system, 
and are known for their undiscriminating attitude towards all. Not surprisingly, a 
Lingayat woman menstruating continues to keep the lingam on her body near 
her heart. This is in contrast to orthodox thought where women traditionally do 
not associate themselves with sacred imagery during their periods. 

If sparks fly I shall think my thirst and anger quelled. If the skies tear 
down I shall think them pouring down for my bath If a hillside slide on 
me I shall think it flower for my hair Lord, white as jasmine, If my head 
falls from my shoulder I shall think it your offering. 

Yatra jivaha, tatra Shivaha (Where there is life there is Shiva) In the state of 
Karnataka there is a small community numbering about seven million people 
who are known as Lingayats. They are also called followers of Virasaivism. 
Virasaivism is a form of Shiva worship. Virasaivites describe their religion as 
"revived, regenerated and revolutionary Saivism." The term Virasaiva means 
"militant, heroic follower of Shiva." They also call themselves Lingayats 
because they wear the Lingam, the emblem and symbol of Lord Siva, on their 
person. They protested against the caste system and aimed at the creation of an 
egalitarian and casteless society. 


Even though the community is small in number, in religious, philosophical and 
cultural significance, they are quite a force to reckon with. It was somewhere in 
1 160 AD that Lingayatism originated as a result of the activities of scholar saint 
Basavanna. Basavanna worshipped Shiva in the form of the Lord of the Meeting 
Rivers, Kadalasangamadeva. The story goes that Bsaavanna went to the place 
where rivers Krishna and Malaprabha meet. At that place stands the temple of 
Siva Sangemswara. (Sangameswara also means the Lord of the Meeting Rivers). 
Here Lord Shiva Himself is believed to have appeared before the devotee and 
blessed him. 

A mythological story is more interesting. Shiva, it is said woke one fine morning 
to get the news that few people on earth worshipping him. So immediately he 
dispatched his mount, Nandi, the bull. Nandi was born as Basavannna. 

There were many saints after him and he as well as the others wrote as whole 
corpus of literature in Kannada known as vacanas. Over 450 vacana writers are 
known to date, the most popular and influential remaining Basavanna, with 
others like Dasimaya, Allama and Mahadeviyakka coming a close second. The 
most intense and significant poetry was a span of two centuries between the 
tenth and twelfth. 

The Lingayats are entrenched in the Pashupata tenets which believes Shiva is 
everything, the beginning and the end. The sect strongly believes in gurus or 
teachers and the original teachers trace their descent from Panchamukha Shiva. 

The lingam is indeed a great equalizer. Any ordinary devotee will testify to this 
who has seen worshippers, regardless of sex, caste, or creed, washing and 
pouring generous libations on the lingam, while simultaneously caressing it 
intimately. Also, the lingam is always installed at the ground level, while other 
anthropomorphic deities remain established at a height, beyond the reach of the 
ordinary worshipper. 

The lingam is not just the organ of generation, but a sign of the progenitor and 
the essence of cosmic manhood manifested in the microcosm. By worshipping it 
we are not merely deifying a physical organ, but recognizing a form that is both 
eternal and universal 


Devotional Chants and Prayers 

Presented here are some important prayers and stotras usually addressed to Lord 
Shiva during His worship by His devotees. These prayers express intense 
devotion and abiding faith in Lord Shiva and extol his manifold qualities and 
attributes that are too numerous to describe. Most of them are very ancient 
prayers found in the Hindu and Saiva scriptures. 

How to Pray Intelligently! 
Simple and effective way to make your prayers more powerful. 

1. Acknowledge the God of your choice.. Thank the God, and ask for 

2. Pray for those closest to you, family, friends, 
neighbours, community, city state, country. 

3. Pray for world leaders, including our own 

4. Pray for the sick, helpless, homeless, those who 
cannot care for themselves 

5. Pray for yourself - ask God for what it is that 
is heavy on your heart. 

When you pray in the above sequence, you align yourself 
with the universe, before asking for something for yourself. 

You acknowledge, show thankfulness, and ask for 

forgiveness, which helps to place you in a position for your prayer to be heard, 

and helps to increase your faith. 

You pray for those that would harm you. 

You pray for each category of persons surrounding you, 

starting with your family, friends, neighbours, community, co-workers, city, 

state and country. 

Then you reach even further by praying for world leaders, 
throughout the world. 


Of course, you would need to pray for those who may not 
be in a position to pray for themselves. 

And lastly, you have gained an audience with the 
almighty, in order to pray for yourself. 

To pray in any other order, would not place you in 
harmony with the universe prior to your prayer. 

Be humble, yet be intelligent in your prayers. 

Lord Shiva - Prayer One 

Om Sarva Mangal Manglaye Shivay Sarvaarth Sadhike 
Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayaani Namostu Te 


Oh the divine couple Shiva Parvati ! 
O ! Thee, the protectors of this universe, 
Along with Lords Brahma and Vishnu 
We pray to You for our well-being, 
prosperity and the enlightenment of our souls. 

Lord Shiva - Prayer Two 

This mantra is a prayer to Lord Shiva who is addressed as Sankara and 
Trayambaka. Sankara means giver of blessings: (sana = blessings, Kara = the 
Giver). Trayambaka is the three eyed one, where the third eye signifies the giver 
of knowledge, which destroys ignorance and releases us from the cycle of death 
and rebirth. 

Om Namastestu Bhagavan 

Visvesaraya Mahadevaya 

Trayambakaya Tripurantakaya 

Trikagni - Kalaya 

Kalagni - Rudraya Nil - Kanthaya Mrityunjaya 

Sarvesvaraya Sadadhivaya 

Sriman Mahadevaya Namah. 



Om. I bow down to Lord Shiva, who is the creator and protector of the 
universe, who is the greatest among Gods, who has three eyes, who is the 
annihilator of all the three worlds, one whose throat is blue, who is the 
conqueror of death, who is the Lord of all, who is propitious who is 
possessed of all marks of greatness and who is the greatest among Gods. 
To him my prostration. 

Lord Shiva - Prayer Three 

Naagendra haaraaya thriloochanaaya bhasmaangadhaaraaya 


Nityaaya shudhdhaaya digambaraaya tasmai nakaaraaya namahshivaaya 


Salutations to Shiva who wears a serpent as garland, who is three-eyed, 
whose bare body is covered with ashes, who is forever pure and the very 
embodiment of sacrifice. 

Shiva Dhun 

Shivo Bhokta, Shiva Bhojya 
Shivo Karta, Shivah Karma 
Shivah Karanatmakah 


Shiva is the experiencer and the highest object of experience. Shiva is the 
goal of Sadhana. There is nothing apart from Shiva. There is nothing other 
than Shiva. Whatever there is, is Shiva. There is nothing, which is not 
Shiva. There is no place, which is not Shiva. There is no time, which is 
not Shiva. To be aware of this is to be aware of Shiva. 


Powerful Lord Shiva Mantras 

These are Vedic Mantras to win favour of Shiva. Shiva is part of the Hindu 
trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, the Creator, the Protector and the 
Destroyer. Shiva is the Destroyer. He is the destroyer of ignorance, the destroyer 
of bad habits and obstacles and the destroyer of evil, amongst countless qualities 
attributed to him. These mantras are recited in order to surrender to Shiva fully 
and in doing so to eradicate ignorance, and attain bliss and happiness in life. 
According to the ancient Hindu scriptures Shiva is easy to please and boons are 
answered quickly and the benefits are gained quickly. 

Om vande dev uma pati surguru vande jagatkaaranam 1 

Vande pannagbhooshan mrugdhar vande pashoona pathim 11 

Vande surya shashank vahni nayan vande mukundpriyam 1 

Vande bhakt jana-ashraya ch varadam vande Shiv-Shankaram 11 

Om mrutyunjayaaya rudraaya neelakantaaya shambhave 1 
Amriteshaaya sarvaaya mahadevaaya te namaha 11 

3WrT?rra" STcifcr tt^t^rt £ sot: II 
Na Ma Shi Va Ja 

The Shiva Panchakshara Stotram consists of the five letters Na,Ma,Shi,Va,Ya, 

or in Hindi "ST 'OT" "fit" "cT "^T.These are the five holy letters which are 

contained in Shiva.those who recite these holy letters will come close to 
Shiva,be like him and merge into him and be enlightened forever. This is a 
important Manta for those seeking enlightenment and bliss. The recitation of this 


Mantra will sincerity, devotion, a clean and pure heart and love for Shiva will 
lead the devotee towards Shiva. 

Shiva Panchakshara Stotram 
Roman Transliteration 

Nagedndra Haaraay Trilochanaay Bhasmaangraay Maheshwaraay 1 
Nityaay Shudhaay Digambaraay Tasmai "Na" Kaaraay Namaah Shivaay 11 

Mandaakini-Salilam-Chandan-Charchitaay Nandishwar-Pramathnaath- 

Maheshwaraay 11 
Manddar-Pushy-Bahupushy -Supujitaay Tasmai "Ma" Kaaraay Namaah 

Shivaay 11 

Shivaay Gaurivadanaabjvrand-Suryaay Dakshadhwar- Naashkaay 1 
Shrineelkanthaay Vrashdhvajaay Tasmai "Shi" Kaaraay Namaah Shivaay 11 

Vasishth-Kumbhodbhav Gautamary-Munindr-Devarchit-Shekhraay 1 
Chandrark-Vaishvanar-Lochnaay Tasmai "Va" Kaaraay Namaah Shivaay 11 

Yagyaswaruupaay Jataadharaay Pinaak-Hastaay Sanaatanaay 1 
Divyaay Devaay Digambaraay Tasmai "Ya" Kaaraay Namaah Shivaay 11 

Panchaaksharmidam Punyam Yah Pathet Shiv Sanidhau 1 
Shivlokamvaapnoti Shiven Sah Modate 11 

<Hc^l^<7Tl-^t^er- : Era---cjr3dlil ^^-Pm^Tm-ZT^cRRT I 


ciR)M>-^§fer ditd«Hi4-«HcTlo-5;-^ciirad-toTRr I 

: EJ^-^crRT-dH<Hli| HT# "g" ^FRRT SOT: flt^RT II 
ftoLIW £cTRrfcd|J-sKlil HT^"'^'^RRT?T7T:flt^Rr II 

tt^itsrot^ wr *r: t t^h to ?tf^rat I 

f§lclH)eb«HclMft to^W^tecTII 

One-hundred and Eight Names of Lord Shiva 

According to Hindu tradition, devotees chant the various names of their personal 
gods continuously during worship as a mark of devotion. 108 is considered an 
auspicious number. Hence Siva is extolled through these 108 names during the 
puja rituals either by the priests or by the worshippers themselves. 

1. OM SHIVA YA NAMAHA Salutations to the Auspicious One 

2. OM MAHESHVARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Great God Shiva 

3. OM SHAMBHAVE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who exists for our 
happiness alone 

4. OM PINAKINE NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva, who guards the path of 

5. OM SHASHISHEKHARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God who 
wears the crescent moon in his hair 

6. OM VAMADEVAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God who is pleasing 
and auspicious in every way 

7. OM VIRUPAKSHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God of spotless form 

8. OM KAPARDINE NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord with thickly matted 

9. OM NILALOHITAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God splendid as the 
red sun at daybreak 

10. OM SHANKARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the source of all prosperity 
11. OM SHULAPANAYE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who carries a 

12.0M KHATVANGINE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who carries a 

knurled club 
13.0M VISHNUVALLABHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva, who is 

dear to Lord Vishnu 


14.0M SHIPIVISHTAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord whose form 

emits great rays of light 
15.0M AMBIKANATHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Ambika's Lord 
16.0M SHRIKANTAYA NAMAHA Salutations to he whose throat is shining 

17.0M BHAKTAVATSALAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who 

loves His devotees like new born calves 
18.0M BHAVAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God who is existence itself 
19.0M SARVAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who is all 
20. OM TRILOKESHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who is the Lord of 

all the three worlds 
2LOM SHITAKANTHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the primal soul whose 

throat is deep blue 
22.0M SHIVAPRIYAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the god who is dear to 

23. OM UGRAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva whose presence is awesome 

and overwhelming 
24. OM KAP ALINE NAMAHA Salutations to the God whose begging bowl is 

a human skull 
25. OM KAMARAYE NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who conquers all 

26.0M ANDHAKASURA SUDANAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord 

who killed the asura Andhaka 
27.0M GANGADHARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God who holds the 

Ganges River in his hair 
28. OM LALATAKSHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord whose sport is 

29.0M KALAKALAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who is the death of 

30.OM KRIPANIDHAYE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who is the 

treasure of compassion 
3LOM BHIMAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva whose strength is 

32.0M PARASHU HASTAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God who wields 

an axe in his hands 
33.0M MRIGAPANAYAE NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who looks 

after the soul in the wilderness 
34.0M JATADHARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who bears a mass 

of matted hair 
35.0M KAILASAVASINE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who abides on 

Mount Kailas 


36.0M KAVACHINE NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who is wrapped in 

37.0M KATHORAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who causes all growth 
38.0M TRIPURANTAKAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who 

destroyed the three demonic cities 
39.0M VRISHANKAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God whose emblem is 

a bull (Nandi) 
40.OM VRISHABHARUDHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who rides 

a bull 

Lord covered with holy ash 
42.0M SAMAPRIYAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God exceedingly fond 

of hymns from the Sama Veda 
43. OM SVARAMAYAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who creates 

through sound 
44.0M TRAYIMURTAYE NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who is 

worshiped in three forms 
45. OM ANISHVARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the undisputed Lord 
46.0M SARVAGYAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God who knows all 

47.0M PARAMATMANE NAMAHA Salutations to the Supreme Self 
48.0M SOMASURAGNI LOCHANAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the light 

of the eyes of Soma, Surya and Agni 
49.0M HAVISHE NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who receives oblations of 

50.OM YAGYAMAYAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the architect of all 

sacrificial rites 
5LOM SOMAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Moon-glow of the mystic's 

52.0M PANCHAVAKTRAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God of the five 

53.0M SADASHIVAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the eternally auspicious 

benevolent Shiva 
54.0M VISHVESHVARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the all-pervading 

ruler of the cosmos 
55.0M VIRABHADRAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva the foremost of 

56.0M GANANATHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God of the Ganas 
57. OM PRAJAPATAYE NAMAHA Salutations to the Creator 
58.0M HIRANYARETASE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who emanates 

golden souls 


59.0M DURDHARSHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the unconquerable 

60. OM GIRISHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the monarch of the holy 

mountain Kailas 
61. OM GIRISHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord of the Himalayas 
62. OM ANAGHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who can inspire no fear 
63.0M BUJANGABHUSHANAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord 

adorned with golden snakes 
64.0M BHARGAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the foremost of rishis 
65.0M GIRIDHANVANE NAMAHA Salutations to the God whose weapon 

is a mountain 
66. OM GIRIPRIYAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who is fond of 

67. OM KRITTIVASASE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who wears 

clothes of hide 
68.OM PURARATAYE NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who is thoroughly 

at home in the wilderness 
69. OM BHAGAVATE NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord of prosperity 
70.OM PRAMATHADHIPAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God who is 

served by goblins 
7LOM MRITUNJAYAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the conqueror of death 
72.0M SUKSHMATANAVE NAMAHA Salutations to the subtlest of the 

73.0M JAGADVYAPINE NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who fills the whole 

74.0M JAGADGURAVE NAMAHA Salutations to the guru of all the worlds 
75.0M VYOMAKESHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God whose hair is 

the spreading sky above 
76.0M MAHASENAJANAKAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the origin of 

77.0M CHARUVIKRAMAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva, the guardian 

of wandering pilgrims 
78. OM RUDRAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who is fit to be praised 
79.0M BHUTAPATAYE NAMAHA Salutations to the source of living 

creatures, including the Bhutas, or ghostly creatures 
80. OM STHANAVE NAMAHA Salutations to the firm and immovable deity 
8LOM AHIRBUDHNYAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who waits for 

the sleeping kundalini 
82.0M DIGAMBARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva whose robes is the 

83.0M ASHTAMURTAYE NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who has eight 



84. OM ANEKATMANE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who is the one 

85. OM SATVIKAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord of boundless energy 
86.OM SHUDDHA VIGRAHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to him who is free 

of all doubt and dissension 
87.0M SHASHVATAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva, endless and eternal 
88.OM KHANDAPARASHAVE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who cuts 

through the mind's despair 
89.0M AJAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the instigator of all that occurs 
90.OM PAPAVIMOCHAKAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who 

releases all fetters 
9LOM MRIDAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who shows only mercy 
92.0M PASHUPATAYE NAMAHA Salutations to the ruler of all evolving 

souls, the animals 
93. OM DEVAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the foremost of devas, demigods 
94.0M MAHADEVAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the greatest of the gods 
95. OM AVYAYAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the one never subject to 

96. OM HARAYE NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who dissolves all bondage 
97.0M PASHUDANTABHIDE NAMAHA Salutations to the one who 

punished Pushan 
98. OM AVYAGRAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who is steady and 

99.0M DAKSHADHVARAHARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the destroyer 

of Daksha's conceited sacrifice 

100. OM HARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who withdraws the 

101. OM BHAGANETRABHIDE NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who 
taught Bhaga to see more clearly 

102. OM AVYAKTAYA NAMAHA Salutations to Shiva who is subtle and 

103. OM SAHASRAKSHAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord of 
limitless forms 

104. OM SAHASRAPADE NAMAHA Salutations to the God who is 
standing and walking everywhere 

105. OM APAVARGAPRADAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the Lord who 
gives and takes all things 

106. OM ANANTAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the God who is unending 

107. OM TARAKAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the great liberator of 

108. OM PARAMESHVARAYA NAMAHA Salutations to the great God 


A very nice prayer for Lord Shiva in English. 

I pray with all my heart, 

Him who is known by the three Vedas, 

Him who is pleasant to the mind, 

Him who destroyed the three cities, 

Him who is first among everything, 

Him who has all seeing three eyes, 

Him who carries the weight of matted lock, 

With eminence great, 

Him who wears the moving snake as necklace, 

Him who holds the jumping deer in his hand, 

Him who is greatest among devas, 

Him who shines with glitter, 

Him who has mercy on me, 

Him who is the lord of all beings, 

Him who is the only support to holy wisdom, 

Him who is always with my Goddess, 

And Him who is a great entertainer. 

Him the Lord Shiva 

I pray with all my Heart! 

Why do I pray? I pray because I need the Supreme. I meditate because the 
Supreme needs me. When I pray, I think that the Supreme is within me, high 
above in my head; and, that is deep inside me, in heart and mind. 

Prayer says, "I am (the personality) helpless, I am impure, I am weak. I need 
You, O Lord Supreme, to strengthen me, to purify me, to illumine me, to perfect 
me, to immortalise me. I need You, "OM" Lord Supreme." 

At the other hand, meditation says, "O Lord Supreme, out of Your infinite 
bounty You have chosen me to be Your instrument to manifest You here on 
earth in Your own way. To You I offer my constant gratitude. 

Prayer is purity. It purifies the mind, which is always subject to doubt, fear, 
worry and anxiety, and is always assailed by wrong thoughts and wrong actions. 
When we pray, purification takes place in our minds, and purity increases our 
divine receptivity. Each time we pray and meditate our inner receptacle becomes 
large, larger, and largest to end up in Samadhi. 

"Samadhi is equivalent to Enlightenment because samadhis are only states 
of mind or no mind, no mind being a state of mind. "Nirvikapa" Samadhi 


is non-dual but unfortunately it is a state that can easily be destroyed. And 
there is no one there in that state, so when it ends one's ignorance about 
the nature of one's self is not removed and one experiences limitation 
once more." 

Samadhi is a spiritual state of consciousness. There are various kinds of 
Samadhis, "savikalpa" Samadhi happens to be the highest. Beyond "savikalpa" 
comes "nirvikalpa" Samadhi, though there is a great gulf between these two: 
they are two radically different samadhis. Again, there is something even 
beyond "nirvikalpa" Samadhi called "sahaja" Samadhi, and is the highest type 
of Samadhi. In this Samadhi one is in the highest consciousness. However, at the 
same time, one is able to work in the gross physical world. 

He who has achieved "sahaja" Samadhi and remains in this Samadhi, 
consciously and perfectly manifests the Supreme at every second. 

In the Bhagavad Gita, the Supreme Lord Krishna speaks about Samadhi and 
about principal stages of Nirvana: Nirvana in Brahman (the Supreme) and 
Nirvana in Ishvara (the Creator). 

But in India the term "Nirvana" became widely used by Buddhists at some point 
in time and later on this term along with Buddhism, was "forced out" from India 


by Hindus. Instead of using the term "Nirvana" Hindu schools started to expand 
the meaning of the term "Samadhi" by adding to it various prefixes. Various 
schools used these composite words and because of this the term "Samadhi" got 
"diffused" and lost its un-ambiguity. This is why it makes sense to get back to 
accurate terminology that the Supreme introduced into spiritual culture through 
the Supreme Lord Krishna." 

Review on Samadhi as in Hinduism 

Samadhi (pronounced some-ah-dhi) is Sanskrit for "complete meditation." 
According to Vyasa, "yoga is samadhi" deciphered as complete control 
(samadhana) over the functions of consciousness. The exact meaning and usage 
of the term varies among the Indian religious traditions (such as Hinduism and 
Buddhism) but its meaning is from 'sam', with, together + 'a' towards + 'dha' to 
bring. The result is various degrees of veridical coalescent acquisition of truth 

Samadhi is the state of being aware of one's Existence without thinking, in a 
state of undifferentiated "Beingness". Three intensities( depths) of Samadhi Are 
usually understood 1. Sa-vikalpa Samadhi, 2. Nir-vikalpa Samadhi, and 3. 
Sahaja Nir-vikalpa Samadhi. 

Savikalpa Samadhi refers to the initial (beginning) state of Samadhi. Nirvikalpa 
Samadhi is the end result. 

In Sa-vikalpa Samadhi we get the taste of Bliss and Beingness but are still 
attached fast to our erroneous identification with the body as well as to our 
numerous worldly attractions. 

Entering Samadhi in the beginning takes effort. Holding on to a state of Samadhi 
takes even more effort. The beginning stages of Samadhi are only temporary. 

Upon entering Nir-vikalpa Samadhi the differences we saw before have faded 
and only one and the same Substance is seen with which we then gladly identify. 
In this condition nothing but pure Awareness remains and nothing is missing to 
take away from Wholeness and Perfection. 

Samadhi is the only stable unchanging Reality. All else is ever changing and 
does not bring everlasting peace or happiness. 

Staying in Nirvikalpa Samadhi is effortless but even from this condition one 
must eventually return to ego-consciousness. However, it is entirely possible to 


stay in Nirvikalpa Samadhi and yet be fully functional in this world. This 
condition is known as Sahaja Nirvikalpa Samadhi. 

Nirvikalpa Samadhi is achieved through the advanced and prolonged practice of 
Yoga and is the state of oneness with the Atman - the Soul. 

In Nirvikalpa Samadhi, all attachment to the material world and all karma is 
dissolved. All awareness is withdrawn step by step from the physical, astral and 
causal bodies until self-realization or oneness with the soul is achieved. During 
this process, breathing ceases, the heart stops beating. Aware and fully 
conscious oneness with soul is then achieved in a most loving way and all cells 
of physical body are flooded with the Ocean of Divine Love and Divine Bliss 
for any period of duration - hours, days, weeks until the individual shifts his 
awareness from the soul back to the physical body. 

Nirvikalpa Samadhi is a preparatory step to Maha Samadhi and serves as 
extreme uplifting of all body vibration and leads to complete healing of karmic 
wounds to the open doors to God and divine love for further progress on your 
way to God. 

Samadhi is the main subject of the first part of Yoga Sutras called Samadhi- 

Samadhi is also the Hindi word for a structure commemorating the dead (tomb). 

Maha Samadhi (literally great samadhi) is the Hindi word for a realized yogi's 
conscious departure from the physical body at death. 

Maha Samadhi is the final conscious abandoning of the physical body. Every 
infinitesimal piece of attachment or karma is completely surrendered unto God 
and dissolved into the Divine Ocean of Love. The individual transcends to 
worlds beyond karma and returns to God to merge into God. 

But, we just referred to "Sahaja Samadhi" as the highest type, and yet. . .? 

Sri Ramana Maharsi says: "the trance has no good unless vasanas (latent ideas 
and forms of the mind) are destroyed. " But Ramana holds a strong bias to the 
early Upanishad and Vedanta that essentially dismiss the Advaita experience of 
non-duality as anti-thetical to their doctrine which may account for his 
disparaging the "trance" and "ecstasy" of Nirvikalpa Samadhi and placing it in a 
lower status than HIS version of a Sahaja Samadhi with duality and content. 


In an effort to explain Sri Ramana 
Maharsi's distinction between 
Nirvikalpa and Sahaja it may be he 
assumes it is not the quality of the 
"experience" (which may range 
from a "Near Death Experience" to 
Nirvikalpa Samadhi) that 

determines rank in the Samadhi 
hierarchy — but to what degree 
vasanas are permanently destroyed, 
or (as in his own case) already 
highly evolved — upon re-entering 
phenomenal life. This appears to 
determine the level of 
Enlightenment one manifests after 
the Advaitic experience- which can 
range from remaining in a state of 
relative ignorance to becoming a 
jivanmukta like Sri Ramana 

Sri Ramana Maharsi's vasanas were already highly evolved at the time of his 
experience, so upon re-emergence from whatever experience he attained his 
vasanas further evolved via intense intellectual perception of religious texts to 
the degree he could function as a jivanmukta. Thus for Ramana Maharsi it is 
more the quality of Enlightenment one retains after the transcendent experience 
as to what name and rank he awards the level of the original experience — and 
thus in my view (i.e., Fisher) arbitrarily applies the term "Sahaja Samadhi". 

In short: I assume Sahaja does not enter into defining the quality of the ultimate 
state of a samadhic experience where Nirvikalpa is supreme- but distinguishes 
any level of advaitic experience which results in the experiencer becoming 
imbued with highly evolved dsand enabling his/her permanent Enlightenment 
as a jivanmukta. 

Up the difference between Samprajnata-Samadhi and Nirvikalpa Samadhi. Sri 
Ramana Maharsi responds with: 

"Holding on to the supreme state is Samadhi. When it is with effort due to 
mental disturbances, it is Samprajnata. When these disturbances are 
absent, it is Nirvikalpa. Remaining permanently in the primal state 
without effort is Sahaja." 


Short Biography of the the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi 

"The Sage of Arunachala" 
30th Dec. 1879 to 14th April 1950 

Almost since the writer of this manuscript had a computer in 1990, and 
discovered on Internet a little later Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi had in some 
way been a devotee of the Guru ever since, bought books and downloaded 
everything he may have found on the Sage of Arunachala. 

Throughout the history of mankind spiritual world saviours have appeared on 
very rare occasions to exemplify the Highest Truth. Guiding followers by their 
conduct in every moment of their lives; Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi was 
such a giant and saint. Unique for our time, He perfectly embodied the ultimate 
truth of Self-realisation, or complete absorption in the Supreme Itself. 

Drawn from His home by the power of Arunachala at the age of sixteen, he 
remained at Its feet throughout the rest of His life and became known as the 
Sage of Arunachala. 

He wrote very little, but is known to have translated and corrected a number of 
important works for the benefit of devotees. He preferred to communicate 
through the power of overwhelming Silence, a silence so deep and powerful 
that it stilled the minds of ardent seekers who were attracted to Him from all 
over the world. 

Silence is preparation for the Supreme' s examination. Man comes to know the 
Supreme 's Hour only when he observes silence, only when he dives deep 
within. Sri Ramana Maharsi practised silence every moment of his life, and 
perfectly knew when the Supreme 's Hour was going to strike. Indeed, the 
victory that one achieves in the universe of silence is eternal. 

Although preferring silence, He was always willing to answer the questions of 
sincere aspirants and never failed to guide them in the right direction. He 
always looked deep within, and just answered the questions. 

His highest teaching of "Self-enquiry" (vichara) was understood in the infinite 
silence of his presence. Through this silence, countless numbers of devotees 
and visitors experienced the pure bliss of True Being. That same experience of 
perfect peace is still available to sincere souls who turn to him and practice his 
teachings with devotion. 


In the silence, the liberation of the will follows on the liberation in knowledge 
and is its dynamic consequence; it is the knowledge that purifies, it is the truth 
that liberates: evil is the fruit of spiritual ignorance and it will disappear only by 
the growth of a spiritual consciousness and the light of spiritual knowledge. 
This is the first step to self-realisation, to enthrone the Higher Self Within (the 
Soul), the divine psychic individual in the place of the ego. The next step is to 
become aware of the eternal self in each of us, unborn and one with the self of 
all beings. 

The act of silence and perfect grace can be experienced anywhere, but it is 
especially palpable at the foot of the holy Arunachala Hill, a hill that has 
attracted saints and sages for thousands of years. The Maharshi's teaching of 
"Self-enquiry" (Pure Advaita) is simplicity itself, requiring no outward 
formalities, no outer change of life, only a simple change in "point of view" and 
a sustained effort on the part of the seeker and devotee. The goal is no heaven 
or hell after death or a faraway ideal, but rather the removal of the ignorance 
that prevents us from knowing that we are eternally One with our Source, the 
Supreme Self, or the Absolute. It is an experience that happens NOW! All that 
is required is a sincere effort, which earns us the necessary grace. 

On his deathbed the Maharshi told his grieving devotees, "You say I am going 
away, but where can I go? I am always here. You give too much importance to 
the body." His promise of a "continued presence" is daily being experienced by 
numerous devotees around the world, and it is that experience of "continued 
presence" that has inspired many to devote themselves to the path of peace and 

Each spiritual experience is a step forward to self-realisation. And, each 
spiritual experience gives one additional confidence in oneself. Also, each 
experience fortunate or unfortunate is a spiritual experience, encouraging and 
energising one to march farther, giving enormous satisfaction. While having 
experiences of all kind, good and bad, remember, that you ,may always feel the 
Presence of an Invisible Guide within you, pushing you forward towards the 
Goal. Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharsi still helps you in this. Your expanding 
consciousness, as you grow into the Supreme, is itself a solid experience. 

Deep within us divinity is crying to come to the fore. There the divine soldiers 
are our simplicity, sincerity, purity, humility and the feeling of oneness. These 
soldiers are more than ready and eager to fight with fear, doubt, anxiety and 
worry. Unfortunately, we are not consciously identifying ourselves with the 
divine soldiers. We are consciously or even unconsciously identifying ourselves 
with the physical soldiers, and that is why world peace is still even today a far 


cry. World peace can be achieved, revealed, offered and manifested on planet 
Earth when the divine power of love replaces the carnal love of power. 

Prasad to Lord Shiva 

General Introduction to Prasad. 

In Hinduism, food plays an important role in rituals and worship, and the food 
offered to the gods is called prasada. The Sanskrit word "prasada" means 
"mercy," or the divine grace of God. 

We can make the preparing of food, the offering of food to God, and the eating 
of the food offered, into a powerful devotional meditation. If, as a meditative 
discipline, we can offer our food to God with devotion before eating it, not only 
are we not implicated in the karma involved in acquiring the food, but we can 
actually make spiritual progress by eating the offered food. Our devotion, and 
God's grace, subtly transforms the food offered from material nutrition to 
spiritual mercy or prasada. 

The word "Prasad" means also that which gives peace. During any form of 
worship, ritual or ceremony, Hindus offer some items of food to the Lord. Puja 
is done (unless otherwise stated) with Bael leaves, flowers, Tulasi (Basil plant), 
Vibhuti and these are given as Prasada from the Lord. 

Prasada is that which gives peace. Prasada is the sacred food offering of the 
Lord. During Kirtans (Singing hymns), worship, Puja, Havan and Arati, the 
devotee offers sweet rice, fruits, jaggery, milk, coconut, plantain and such other 
articles to the Lord, according to his ability. After offering them to the Lord, 
they are shared between the members of the house or the Bhaktas (devotees) in a 

Water, flowers, rice, etc., are offered to the Lord in worship. This denotes that 
the Lord is pleased with even the smallest offering. What is wanted is the heart 
of the devotee. The Lord says in the Gita : 

"Patram Pushpam Phalam Toyam Yo Me Bhaktya Prayacchati; 

Tadaham Bhaktyupahritamasanami Prayatatmanah" - Whoever offers a leaf, a 
flower, a fruit or even water with devotion, that I accept, offered as it is with a 
loving heart". 


It is not necessary that one should offer gold, silver and costly dress to the Lord. 
The devotee offers these according to his ability and position in life, thereby 
denoting that the whole wealth of the world belongs to the Lord. A rich man 
offers costly things to the Lord. He feeds the poor and serves the sick, seeing the 
Lord in his fellow-beings. 

The mental Bhava (attitude) of the devotee offering Bhog to the Lord has very 
great effect. If an ardent devotee of the Lord offers anything to the Lord, that 
Prasada, if taken, would bring very great change even in the minds of atheists. 
The Grace of the Lord descends through Prasada. Go through the life of Narada. 
You will realise the greatness of the sacred leavings of the Lord as well as those 
of advanced Sadhakas and saints. 

Namadeva offered rice etc., to Panduranga Vitthala and He ate the food and 
shared it with Namadeva as well. If the food is offered with an yearning heart, 
sometimes, the Lord takes that food assuming a physical form. In other cases, 
the Lord enjoys the subtle essence of the food offered, and the food remains as it 
is in the shape of Prasada. While feeding Mahatmas and the poor people, that 
which is left behind is taken as Prasada. When a sacrifice is performed, the 
participants share the Prasada which bestows the blessings of the gods. When 
Dasaratha performed Putrakameshti (a sacrifice performed wishing for a son), 
he got a vessel full of sweetened rice that he gave to his queens, by taking which 
they became pregnant. 

Another form of Prasad: Charanamrit 

A special form of prasad is the Charanamrit, which is the water or milk used to 
wash the feet of the idol, or of a holy saint. The Charanamrit has tremendous 
powers. It can change the outlook of a devotee entirely. It has the power to cure 
diseases. There are cases where it brought back life to the dead. Charanamrit is a 
tonic or medicine for misery, pain and anxiety. Intense faith is the all-important 
necessity for taking it. Without faith it brings very little benefit. The benefits of 
Prasada and Charanamrita are beyond description. They have the power to 
change entirely the outlook of a man's life. There have been ever so many 
instances in the past in this holy land of ours (India) which bears witness to the 
potency and efficacy of Prasada. Prasada destroys all pains and sins. It is an 
antidote for misery, pain and anxiety. Faith is the important factor in testing the 
accuracy of this statement. For faithless persons, it brings very little effect. 

Those who are brought up in modern education and culture have forgotten all 
about the glory of Prasada. Many Western educated persons do not attach any 
importance to Prasada when they get it from Mahatmas. This is a serious 


mistake. Prasada is a great purifier. As they are brought up in the Western style 
of living, they have imbibed the spirit of Westerners and forgotten the spirit of 
true children of Indian Rishis of yore. Live for a week in Vrindavana or 
Ayodhya or Varanasi or Pandharpur. You will realise the glory and the 
miraculous effects of Prasada. Many incurable diseases are cured. Many sincere 
aspirants get wonderful spiritual experiences from mere Prasada alone. Prasada 
is a panacea. Prasada is a spiritual elixir. Prasada is the Grace of the Lord. 
Prasada is a cure-all and an ideal pick-me-up. Prasada is an embodiment of 
Sakti. Prasada is Divinity in manifestation. Prasada energises, vivifies, 
invigorates and infuses devotion. It should be taken with great faith. 

The prasad of the Lord is very sacred and purifying. If it is taken with faith and 
devotion, it brings miraculous results to the devotee. 

The Lord enjoys the subtle essence of the food offered. The food is then eaten as 
prasad by the devotees. 

While feeding Mahatmas, Sannyasins and the poor, that which is left over is also 
taken as prasad, because in feeding them, we feel that we are feeding God 

When a ceremony is performed all the devotees should share the prasad and thus 
receive the blessings of the Deities. Prasad is extremely sacred. There is no 
restriction of any kind in taking prasad. Time, place or condition does not affect 
one. Prasad is all purifying. Prasada is the most sacred object for a devotee. One 
should consider himself lucky to take the Prasada, and there is no restriction of 
any kind in taking Prasada. Prasada is all purifying. 

In the kitchen of the Gods and Goddesses 

Before we can offer any food to the Supreme (or Absolute), Gods and 
Goddesses, however, we must first follow some important guidelines while 
preparing the food. 

1. First, the Supreme only accepts purely vegetarian offerings - offerings 
that are acquired without pain and suffering on the part of any creature. 
So, we have to strictly avoid cooking any meat (including chicken; a bird 
is not a vegetable!), fish and eggs. 

2. Second, we cannot offer any onions, garlic or mushrooms. This may seem 
like an odd proscription; but the Vedic scriptures, as well as the ancient 


natural medicinal system of Ayurveda, explain that these foods excite the 
more passionate elements of the human psycho-physical constitution. 

3. Third (and this can sometimes be tough), we must not taste the food 
before it is offered to the Supreme. The preparing of Prasada is done as an 
active devotional meditation. So the goal is to prepare delicious foods, not 
along our own taste in mind, but thinking only of the satisfaction of the 
Supreme, Gods and Goddesses. Therefore, they should be the first to 
"taste" the fruits of our labours. 

4. Keeping this meditative goal in mind, it is important to have an 
atmosphere in our kitchen that is conducive to creating a meditative and 
devotional state. We should be in a calm, peaceful and contemplative 
frame of mind while preparing food for God, thinking to ourselves as we 
prepare the food that we are acting for God's satisfaction, and not just our 

5. Finally, as in any spiritual endeavour, it is important to maintain a high 

standard of cleanliness while preparing, cooking, and offering the food. The 
kitchen, utensils and foods used should be clean. We ourselves also should be 
clean and bathed before beginning Prasada-Meditation, or any other meditation 
for that matter. 

If we can follow all of the above guidelines and, most importantly, maintain a 
meditative consciousness of love and devotion for God as we are performing 
these activities, then God will gladly accept our offering. 

How to offer Prasada? 

i. It is helpful if you have an altar already set up somewhere in your home, 
apartment or dorm. On this altar should be either a sacred image or a 
picture of the God or Goddess in any of His or Her sacred forms. For 
example, an image of any of His incarnations - Rama, Krishna, 
Narasingha - or any other form, such as Srinathaji or Venkateshvara, is 
fine. In addition, you can include images of your guru, saints, or other 
devas or devis on your altar - Durga, Ganesha, Sarasvati, etc. Images of 
God, however, should be the focal-point of any altar used for meditation. 
If you don't have an altar, then placing a simple image of God somewhere 
special will do. 

2. When the food is ready, take a sampling of each preparation, along with a 
glass or cup of water, and place them all on a special plate that is used 


only for offering food to the God or Goddess. This plate must never be 
used for any other purpose than offering food in Prasada-Meditation. 
Place the plate of food before the sacred image. Offer a little incense to 
the Deity. Then, in a meditative and devotional state of mind, sit with 
eyes closed in meditation and recite several sacred mantras. One such 
mantra which is highly effective is: "Om Namo Narayanaya", or 
"Om.Namah Shivaha". 

3. After chanting this mantra for some time, then remain in silent prayer for 
5-10 minutes and request the Deity to accept your offering. After you 
have offered the food in this way, the food that you have cooked is now 
sanctified and considered to be prasada, food transformed into the grace 
of the Deity. By partaking in such food, we show our devotion to the 
Supreme, and thus make spiritual advancement. 

4. The food on the plate should be re-merged into the food in the pots. 
Having thanked the Supreme through the Deity for accepting your 
offering, the prasada can now be eaten. The food should also be eaten 
with meditative awareness, peacefully and respectfully. 

While eating the prasada, as it is a "sacrament" please always be conscious and 
aware that you are partaking in the special grace of the Supreme (Absolute). Eat 
with reverence, and enjoy! 

What is necessary or not for Prasad to Lord Shiva? 

BHASM, TRIPUND and RUDRAAKSH - are the necessary things required 
for the Puja (worshipping), which should be bore by person during the worship. 

BHASM (Smearing Ash): Lord Shiva wears three white-lined Bhasma or 
Vibhuti on His forehead in three horizontal stripes - TRIPUND. 

RUDRAAKSHA : "Rudra" means Lord Shiva and "akasha" means Eye. 

DHAURVA (auspicious grass) and TULSI leaf: DHAURVA (auspicious 
grass) and TULSI leaf are also offer in worshipping Shiva and definitely the 
puja with Tulsi's Manjiri is regarded more beneficial. 

SESAMUM is not used in worshipping Lord Shiva and the Champa 

Flower should never be offered. 

Two Shells, two Chakrasheela, two ShivLingas, two Ganesh Idols, two Sun 
Idols and three Durga Idols should not be worshipped together, this invites 


"Kartaal" should not be played when the puja of Lord Shiva is going on. 

During Lord Shiva's circumambulation the complete circumambulation 
is not done. The drainage place, from where offered water flows down, 
should not be crossed; from here the reverse circumambulation is done. 

Lord Shiva's half time, Lord Vishnu's four times, Goddess Durga's one time, 
Sun God's seven times and Lord Ganesha's three times circumambulation 
should be done. 

For SHIVJI among the leaf and the flower BILVAPATRA is o For SHIVJI 

among the leaf and the flower BILVAPATRA isf most vital importance. But in 
the Bilvapatra the Chakra and the Bajra should not be there. The Chakra is a 
white mark made by the insects on the BilvaPatra, while the Bajra is the thick 
portion towards the stalk. This part should be broken. The Bilvapatra half eaten 
up by the insects is also not considered good for worshipping Shiva. While 
offering the Bilvapatra its glossy surface must be facing the ShivLinga. In the 
Bilvapatra the range of the leaves vary from 3 to 11. The more the number of 
leaflets the more beneficial it is considered but even if one of the leaves gets 
detached from the Bilvapatra of three leaves then it is of no use. FRUIT OF 
AAK and the DHATURA Flower are also main things for the puja(worship) 
but the Blue Lotus flower is considered to be best. In its absence any LOTUS 
FLOWER will do as Lord Shiva is fond of Lotus flower. 

TULSI and Bilvapatra are always considered to be pure, they do not become 
stale to be pure, they does not become stale. 

Tamaal, Aavlaa, Lotus flower and Agast flower - these also stay fresh for 
another day. 

"BHANG"(a Prasad) must definitely be offered to the Lord. It is a wrong 
notion that the Prasad offered to the Lord Shiva should not be consumed by the 
devotees. The Prasad which has been touched only to the Shiv Linga should not 
be consumed. 

DAMRU is one of the attributes of Shiva in his famous dancing representation 
known as Nataraja. A specific hand gesture called Damaru-hasta. Sound or 
Dhwani is said to have originated from the Damru of Lord Shiva. It is said that 
every perceivable and unperceivable object in the Universe has a corresponding 

Serpents: Shiva is often shown garlanded with a snake. 


TRISHUL (Trident): Shiva's particular weapon is TRISHUL. 

Shiva Linga is the holy symbol of Lord Shiva that is considered sacred by the 
devotees of Lord Shiva. The word, 'Lingum' in Sanskrit means, 'symbol'. 
Shiva Lingum, therefore means symbol of Lord Shiva and is therefore 
considered most sacred by Shaivaites. 

Crescent moon: Shiva bears on his head the crescent moon. 

Ganga: Ganga(river Ganges) is associated with Hindu mythology and is the 

most sacred river of Hindus. Ganga, symbolically represented on the head of the 
Lord by a female(Mother Ganga) with a jet of water emanating from her mouth 
and falling on the ground, signifies that the Lord destroys sin, removes 
ignorance, and bestows knowledge, purity and peace on the devotees. 

Nandi: Nandi, is the name of the bull that serves as Shiva's mount(vahana). 

Blue throat: The epithet Nilakantha refers to a story in which Shiva drank the 
poison churned up from the world ocean. Halahala, the colour of poison was 

Tiger skin: Shiva is often shown seated upon a tiger skin. 

Kundalas(two ear rings): Two Kundalas, Alakshya (meaning "which 
cannot be shown by any sign") and Niranjan (meaning "which cannot be 
seen by mortal eyes") in the ears of the Lord signify that He is beyond 
ordinary perception. Since the kundala in the left ear of the Lord is of the type 
used by women and the one in His right ear is of the type used by men, these 
Kundalas also symbolize the Shiva and Shakti (male and female) principle 
of creation. 

Kamandalu: a water pot (Kamandalu) made from a dry pumpkin contains 
nectar and is shown on the ground next to Shiva. The process of making 
Kamandalu has deep spiritual significance 






DURGA like RED FLOWER (hibiscus). 

The face of leaflet-flower-fruit should be facing downwards while offering to 
the Supreme. But BILVAPATRA should be offered reversed and only after 
removing its stake. 

Except during Shivratri, "KUMKUM" is not offered to SHIVA. 

Plucking of Tulsi from plant should not be done on the eve of Sankranti, 
Dwadashi Amavashya, Purnima, Sunday and during evening hours. 

The Tulsi's leaf remains intact and well preserved till eleven nights. 

Tulsi is offered to Ganesha only on the day of 'Bhadra Shukla Chaturthi'. 

DIPAK should not be lightened with another Dipak (lamp). 

Kund to SHIVA, Dhatura to Vishnu, Aank to Goddess and Tagar flower to 
Madar and Surya (Sun God) should never be offered. 

From the front portion of KUSHA never sprinkle water on GODS. 

The one who is performing the ritual (Puja) should bare TILAK on forehead. 

The Jalhari of SHIVA LINGA should always face north. 

The smaller the idol of Shaligram the more it is Beneficial. 

Aarti should be done in following way:- The Foot of God - 4 times, Naval - 2 
times, face - either 1 time or 3 times, after doing this the Aarti should be done 
collectively of all parts - 7 times. 

In regulation Aachman (washing of hands after ritual) should be done thrice. 

By this TRIDEV (Brahma- Vishnu-Mahesh) will become happy. If we are 
touching our right ear then it is also equivalent to Aachman. 

If we are not getting new leaves of Bilva Patra, the ones which are already 
offered to, God may be reused after washing the same. 

Rice to Vishnu, Tulsi to Ganesha and Bilvapatra to Durga as well as Sun God 
should not be offered. 


Kumhara- Water melon- Coconut should not be broken or cut by a knife by 
Ladies, its not regarded good. 

In every religious work the wife must sit right to husband. 

Milk, curd or Panchamrit should never be poured in utensil made of Bronze, as 
this is equal to wine. 

Rakhi should be tied on the left hand of the Females. 

On Saturdays JAL (water) should be offered to PIPAL tree and 
circumambulation should be done but the latter should not be done on Sundays. 

While doing Yagya or Shradh, only Black Tils (sesamum) should be used and 
not white ones. 

Never do Pranam with one hand only. 

Any Donation work, charity work should be done or alms should be given only 
by right hand. 

While doing pranam (seeking blessings) to elders, touch there right foot by your 
right hand and there left foot by your left hand. 

Never touch the feet of a person who is sleeping. 

Shaving should not be done on Ekadashi, Aamavasya, Krishna Chaturdashi, 
Purnima Fast, and on the day of Shradh. 

Hand should be there on the head or it should be covered by any cloth while 
somebody is puts Tilak on you. 

The Lotus flower does not pass away till five nights. 

Rice should be offered to GODS after washing it thrice and to ancestors after 
washing them once. 

Fingers should not be put in water, milk and ghee etc, because the touching of 
nails makes these things inauspicious. 



Abhisheka is a part of the worship of Lord Shiva. Without it, the worship is 
incomplete. It is the ceremonial bathing of the Shiva Lingam in Shiva temples or 
Satsangs as in Europe the Home Satsang. 

A pot made of copper or brass, with a tiny hole in the centre, is kept hanging 
over the image or Lingam of Siva. The water drips (falls) on the image 
throughout the day and night. Pouring water, milk, ghee (clarified butter), curd, 
honey or coconut water over the Lingam is also Abhisheka. Whilst this is done, 
the Rudram is chanted loudly with devotion and love. Lord Shiva is invoked by 
performing this Abhisheka. 

Monday is a very important day for worshipping Lord Shiva. The thirteenth day 
(Pradosha) of the bright and dark fortnights is also considered sacred. On these 
days, devotees of Lord Shiva offer special worship with plenty of prasad. 

The water of the Abhisheka is considered very sacred. It is known to grant great 
benefits on the devotees who take it as the Lord's prasad. It purifies the heart 
and destroys countless sins. You should take it with intend, faith and devotion. 

When you perform Abhisheka with devotion, your mind is concentrated. Your 
heart is filled with divine thoughts and with the image of the Lord. You forget 
your body and your surroundings. Egoism vanishes. When the body is forgotten, 
you begin to enjoy and taste the eternal bliss of Lord Shiva. The recitation of 
Mantras during the Abhisheka purifies the mind. 

The greatest and the highest Abhisheka is to pour the waters of pure love on the 
Lingam in the lotus of the heart. The external Abhisheka with objects is intended 
to lead to this internal Abhisheka, wherein there is a flow of pure love. 

The sacred prasad of the Lord and the holy water of the Abhisheka purify the 
heart if taken with faith and devotion. They can bring peace and prosperity. 

Incurable diseases are cured by performing Abhisheka. It bestows health, 
wealth, prosperity, peace of mind and purity of heart. It expands the heart. It 
calls for self-sacrifice and self-surrender. There must be a natural feeling in the 
heart. "I am Thine, my Lord. All is Thine, my Lord." 

How Abhishekam is prepared for celebration? 

Annabhishekam is held on full moon day in the seventh month of every year - 
i.e. Aippasi (Tamil calendar) Asvina (Hindu calendar) (October/ November), for 


Shiva Lingam, presiding deity of all Siva Temples in South India. Devotees 
believe that performing Annabhishekam to the Lord Shiva on this day would rid 
them of all their problems. 

Step One 

What is Abhishekam? 

Abhishekam is the process of bathing the deity. According to Shiva Agamas 
(pooja rules) abhishekam is considered as one part of the shodashopachara 
pooja. Shiva Agamas give lot of importance to abhishekam in Shiva pooja and it 
makes the ceremonies many times more effective. Your priest may perform 
Abhishekam by simply using holy water or perform elaborately with milk, 
curds, honey, ghee, sugar, coconut water, holy ash, sandal paste, fruit juice etc. 

Lord Shiva will be pleased by the process of bathing with the prescribed eleven 
ingredients like water, milk, curd, ghee, honey etc. If you pour a drop of water 
on the 'Linga form' you will receive the blessings of Lord Siva. He will remove 
all your difficulties and will grace with happiness and joy. 

Step Two 

Annabhishekam : A Thanksgiving Festival 

The seventh month in the calendar is the holy month. According to astrology 
Sun resides in the house / rasi Libra. The harvesting of paddy in Tamil Nadu 
would have got completed by this time. People are more interested in thanking 
Lord Shiva with Annam (cooked fragrant rice). They believe that Lord Shiva 
has only created annam (cooked rice) and He alone offers His grace and protects 
His subjects with annam (cooked rice). 

Step Three 

Siva Lingam: An Abstract Form of Lord Shiva 

Since Lord Shiva is widely worshipped in the form of the Shivalinga as well as 
presiding deity, annabhisekam will be performed only to Shivalingam. Shiva 
linga form has three parts. The four-sided lower-most part forms the base and is 
known as avudai. The 'Yoni' or octagonal eight-sided pedestal (mid-part) is 
provided with a passage for draining away the water or other liquids poured on 
top by devotees. The "Lingam" or cylindrical shaped top most part remains on 
the pedestal. The height of lingam is one-third of its circumference. The three 
parts of lingam symbolize the trinity of Hindu pantheon i.e. Brahma (the creator) 
resides at the bottom, Vishnu (the preserver) resides in the middle and Shiva (the 
destroyer) resides on the top. 


Step Four 

Eleven Ingredients Prescribed for Abhishekam 

The Shiva Linga abhishekam is done with the prescribed eleven ingredients: 

1 . Gingely oil 

2. Pancha kavyam (mixture of five ingredients i.e. milk, curd or yoghurt, 
ghee and cows urine) 

3. Panchamrutham (mixture of five ingredients i.e. fruit, jaggery, ghee, 
honey and sugar candy) 

4. Ghee 

5. Milk 

6. Curd or yoghurt. 

7. Honey 

8. Sugar cane juice 

9. Lime juice 

10. Tender coconut water 

11. Sandal paste 

Step Five 

Annabhishekam is performed next to milk on this specific day. During 
abhishekam "Sri Rudram" (hymn at chapter 16 and 18 of Yajurveda part of 
Veda) is chanted. Rhythm chanting of the Sri Rudram will purify the entire 
atmosphere. Sri Rudra has eleven sections. Similarly Lord Shiva has eleven 
forms (Ekadasa Rudra). Annabhisekam will take place mostly in the evening. In 
some temples it may take place in the noon. 

The Shive Linga will be covered with cooked rice. They may even cover the 
floor of the sanctum sanctorium and may extend up to the steps. They will use 
the snacks like Vadai, appam to decorate the deity. They will also use vegetables 
and fruits. As a result the Shiva Linga will appear with eyes, ear, nose and 
mouth. The fruits and vegetables will be piled up on the floor and steps. The 
'harathi' will be followed. The Shiva linga will remain covered with annam for 
about one yamam, or one and half hours. 

Step Six 

Lord Siva: Preserver of Annam 

Lord Shiva is the preserver of annam (Annanam Pathaye Namaha). He is 
considered as annam and he is also the consumer of annam (Ahamannam ... 


Ahamannatho). The devotees believe that anyone who witnesses annabhshekam 
will be relived from the troubles of rebirth. 

Step Seven 
Maha Harathi 

Devotees will collect the cooked rice covered around Lingam and immerse it in 
rivers or ponds. The cooked rice used to cover the base and floor will be 
collected and distributed to devotees. 

After removal of the cooked rice, the Shiva Linga will have abhishekam with the 
remaining five ingredients (Total ingredients: eleven - Five before 
annabhishekam). After this the main deity will be decorated with clothes and 
jewels. The Maha Harathi will be shown to the deity. With this the 
annabhishekam will be concluded. 


Annabhishekam with cooked rice to Lingam is an annual ritual in all Shiva 
Temples. But it is a daily ritual at Thiruvanaikoil. In Thiruvannamalai it is done 
during 'Karthigai festival'. In Palani it is done during the Tamil month Aani. 


Shiva Shakti Tradition 

The Inner Wisdom of the Hindu Tantrik Tradition 

rv r\ 


Only when Lord Shiva is united with Shakti does he have the power to create - 

Second-hand knowledge of the self gathered from books or gurus can never 
emancipate a man until its truth is rightly investigated and applied; only direct 
realisation will do that. Realise yourself turning the mind inward. - Tripura 
Rahasya, 18: 89 

Tantra, or more properly tantrika, is a diverse and rich spiritual tradition of the 
Indian sub-continent. Although in recent years, in the Western world, it has 
become almost exclusively associated with sex, in reality this is one aspect of 
what is a way of life. In India itself, tantra is now, nearly always, associated with 
spells and black deeds. 

Neither of these views is correct, and each wildly underestimates the wide- 
ranging nature of the different traditions. Further, there remains an ocean of 
tantrik and agamic literature still to be discovered and translated, spanning a 
period of time which at least reaches back to the 10th century of the common era 


The tradition, or perhaps better, the traditions, underwent many phases and 
schools over this period of time, ranging from an extremely heterodox viewpoint 
to, in some cases, a very orthodox standpoint. Refer to this page to see the vast 
diversity of thoughts and practices subsumed under the word "tantra". Much of 
the material in these coming pages are related to the Kaula tradition in many of 
its guises. The work kaula is cognate with clan and the communities venerated a 
huge number of gods (devas) and goddesses (devis). 

Although some tantras appear at first glance to be straightforward, most, if not 
all of them, employ a type of language which can be taken on many levels. 
According to the tradition, everything has a gross, a subtle and a supreme 
meaning and as the Devi is the goddess of letters, she can bewilder with her 
Maya as well as enlighten. 


Many terms used in the tantrik tradition have meanings which can be taken at 
face value but do not always have this meaning, thus making them difficult to 
understand to the literally-minded. The mentality of the pashu, or a person with 
a herd-disposition, is said to predispose him or her to misunderstand the 

This cryptic way of speaking pervades many of the texts. Should a cremation 
ground, for instance, be understood as the yoni, as the real place where corpses 
are burnt, or as a symbol for the Absolute? The answer may be all three. Is a 
crossroad a symbol of the five elements, the place where roads meet, or four 
centres within the human body? Again, it may have one or any of these 
meanings. And is the union of Lord Shiva and Shakti the symbol of sexual 
intercourse, the union of vital breaths within the body or an eclipse? 

We can probably find the answers to these questions by going to the root 
philosophy of the tantrik traditions. There is no Lord Shiva without Shakti and 
yoga is a realisation of the unity of all things. That is not to say that everything 
in tantrik texts is figurative; many describe practices which are said to bring 
about this realisation. 

It is also important to remember that legends and stories within the tradition may 
be intended to appeal to parts of the human mind which are not solely connected 
with logic. 

For example, in the Tripurarahasya (secrets of Tripura), a wonderful work 
available in an English translation, much of the teaching and practical 
philosophy of the tradition is told in story form, easy to digest but pregnant with 
meaning. Bear these considerations in mind when browsing this site. 

The sections and the topics left also need some explanation. Very broadly 
speaking, tantras fall into traditions belonging to greater or lesser schools. The 
Kali tradition, for example, has a large literature and there are specific areas in 
India where her worship is concentrated. The Lalita, or Shri Vidya tradition, also 
has a very extensive literature, much of which is still unplumbed. 

The Natha Sampradayas or lines relate to sects said to have originated mostly 
from Matsyendranath and Gorakhanath, and occupy an important position in the 
yoga schools of the mediaeval period. 

Under other topics, we have included a selection of tantrik topics, each of which 
could form vast topics on their own. 


Tantrik ritual is included because above all else the adepts of these schools 
insisted on practical work. Many tantras are practical manuals and this section 
will be expanded in the future. 

We have also included some translations of parts of the tantrik literature along 
with abstracts of other texts to give a feel for the whole subject. If there are 
mistakes in the translations, please forgive us. Also, let us know, and we will fix 

Magickal Armours - Kavachas 

Residing in this city-like body, the Prana (vital breath) is its guardian. This 
Prana measures ten fingers in inhalation and twelve fingers in exhalation - 
Shivasvarodaya, 221 

Each of the tantrik deities has her or his own kavacha or armour, which protects 
devotees from the many dangers which may afflict a human being. These could 
either be recited in a ritual context, or written down on birch bark or other 
substances and worn on the body to give protection. 

The example of a kavacha translated below is from the influential 
Tantrarajatantra, and calls on Lalita and her 15 attendant Nityas or Eternities to 
protect the devotee. These are the days of the waxing of the Moon. 

The yantra on the left is one of the many related to prayogas (magical practices) 
in the Saundaryalahari. This was to be engraved on a gold plate, worshipped for 
21 days, reciting shloka six of the book 500 times a day, offering 21 pieces of 
sugarcane and is proclaimed to be a cure for impotency. 

The Nitya Kavacha - from Tantraraajatantra, 28: 52-71, is reproduced below in 
iTrans format. Transcribed by MM. Please send corrections to the usual email 
address. The kavacha is supposed to protect a sadhaka from all types of 

samastaapadvimuktyartha.m sarvasampadavaaptaye . 
bhuutapretapishaachaadipiiDaashaantyai sukhaaptaye .. 52.. 
samastaroganaashaaya samare vijayaaya cha . 
chorasi.mhadviipigajanavayaadibhayaanake .. 53.. 
araNye shailagahane maarge durbhixake tathaa . 
salilaadimanaH piiDaasvabdhau potaadisa-NkaTe .. 54.. 
prajapya nityaakavacha.m sakR A it.h sarvvantaratyasau . 
sukhii jiivati nirdvandvo niHsapatno jitendriyaH .. 55.. 


shR A iNu tat.h kavacha.m devi vaxye tava tadaatmakam.h . 
yenaahamapi duddheShu devaasurajayii sadaa .. 56.. 
sarvataH sarvadaatmaana.m lalitaa paatu sarvagaa . 
kaameshii purataH paatu bhagamaalaa tvanantaram.h ..57.. 
disha.m paatu tathaa daxapaarshva.m me paatu sarvadaa . 
nityaklinnaa cha bheruNDaa disha.m paatu sadaa mama .. 58.. 
tathaiva pashchima.m bhaaga.m raxet.h saa vahnivaasinii . 
mahaavajreshvarii raxedanantaradisha.m sadaa ..59.. 
vaamapaarshva.m sadaa paatu duutii me tvaritaa tataH . 
paalayettu disha.m chaanyaa.m raxenmaa.m kulasundarii ..60.. 
nityaa maamuurddhataH paatu saadho me paatu sarvvadaa . 
nityaa niilapataakaakhyaa vijayaa sarvvatashcha maam.h ..61.. 
karotu me ma~Ngalaani sarvvadaa sarvvama-Ngalaa . 
dehendriyamanaHpraaNaan.h jvaalaamaalinivigrahaa ..62.. 
paalayedanisha.m chitraa chitta.m me paatu sarvvadaa . 
kaamaat.h krodhaattathaa lobhaanmohaanmaanaanmadaadapi ..63.. 
paapaanmat.hsarataH shokaat.h sa.mshayaat.h sarvvataH sadaa . 
staimityaachcha samudyogaadashubheShu tu karmmasu ..64.. 
asatyakruurachintaato hi.msaatashchauryyatastathaa . 
raxantu maa.m sarvvadaa taaH kurvantvichChaa.m shubheShu cha ..65.. 
nityaaH ShoDasha maa.m paantu gajaaruuDhaaH svashaktibhiH . 
tatha hayasamaaruuDhaaH paantu maa.m sarvataH sadaa ..66.. 
si.mhaaruuDhaaH stathaa paantu maantaraxagataa api . 
rathaaruuDhaashcha maa.m paantu sarvataH sarvadaa raNe ..67.. 
taarxyaaruuDhaashcha maa.m paantu tathaa vyomagataa stathaa . 
bhuugataaH sarvadaa paantu maa~ncha sarvatra sarvadaa .. 68.. 
bhuupretapishaachaapasmaarakR A ityaadikaan.h gadaan.h . 
draavayantu svashaktiinaa.mbhiiShaNairaayudhairmmam.h ..69.. 
gaj aashvadvipipa-nchaasy ataarxyaruuDhaakhilaayudhaaH . 
asa.mkhyaaH shaktayo devyaaH paantu maa.m sarvataH sadaa .. 70.. 
saaya.m praatarjapannityaa kavacha.m sarvaraxakam.h . 
kadaachinnaashubha.m pashenna shR A Noti cha mat.hsamaH ..71.. 

The Nitya Armour 

Lalita, protect all of my being always and everywhere. Kameshvari protect me 
in the East, Bhagamalini in the S.East, and Nityaklinna, always protect me in the 
Southern direction. Bherunda always protect me in the S.West, and Vahnivasini 
shield me in the West. Mahavajreshvari protect me always in the N.West, and in 
the North, Duti protect me. Tvarita, (in the N.East), shield me. 


Kulasundari protect me above, and Nitya protect me everywhere below. 
Nilapataka, Vijaya and Sarvamangala — protect and cause good fortune 
everywhere. Jvalamalini guard me in my body, senses, mind and breath. Chitra, 
always protect my Chitta. 

May they protect me from lust, cruelty, greed, delusion, arrogance, presumption, 
evil, selfishness, grief and doubt — everywhere and always. (May they shield 
me) from numbness, evil actions, lies, anger, worry, harmfulness, and thieving. 
They should always protect me and promote auspicious acts. 

May the 16 Nityas protect me by their own Shaktis seated on elephants, and by 
their Shaktis seated on horses always shield me everywhere. 

The Shaktis seated on lions protect me within, and the Sbaktls in chariots always 
protect me everywhere in war. The Shaktis seated on Garudas protect me in the 
aether and upon the earth. The Shaktis, with their terrifying weapons, put to 
flight elementals, ghosts, flesh-eaters, seizers of the self, and all ailments. 

The innumerable Shaktis and Devis on their elephants, horses, tigers, lions and 
Garudas protect me always and everywhere without gaps. (This all-protecting 
Nitya Amour should be recited in the morning and the evening.) 

Food, Flowers and Perfume 

The intricate forms of worship (puja) described on some of these pages often 
require the use of ritual accessories (upacharas), such as specific types of food, 
flowers and fragrances. For the way in which these are used in a daily rite, refer 
to the translation of Subhagodaya found on this site. 

Some tantrik texts prescribe a whole range of different substances for occasional 
or optional rites which may include different scents, flowers, edible food and 
liquids to perform the pujas. 

There are plenty of traps for the unwary. While these accessories can relate to 
external worship (bahiryaga), they may also be used as symbols for internal 
worship (antaryaga), and so can take a range of forms from the very simple to 
the very complex. For example, in the Kaulajnananirnaya, the flowers to be 
offered represent qualities to be cultivated. 

"The first flower is non-harmfulness, the second [is] sense restraint, the third 
generosity, the fourth [is] right disposition, the fifth compassion and the sixth 
freedom from cruelty. The seventh flower is meditation and the eighth flower is 


knowledge. Knowing these rules relating to flowers, one should worship this 
mental lingam." (op.cit III, 25-26). 

These flowers are related in this text to different chakras (wheels) or padmas 
(lotuses) in the human body. 

The simplest accessories relate to the five elements of tantrika, and so, by 
extension, to the five senses. See, for example, the Shani puja, where scent is 
linked with the bija Lam and earth, flowers to aether with the bija Ham, incense 
with air and the bija mantra Yam, flame with fire and the bija mantra Ram, and 
water to liquid and the bija letter Vam. 

This inner practice demonstrates two very important yogic elements of puja. The 
first is that the deva or devi, through meditation (dhyana), whether gross, subtle 
or supreme, is considered to be one with the worshipper. The second is that by 
offering the sense impressions to that devata, it encourages the perception that 
the person performing the rite is not wholly identified with her or his 

These, along with the instruments of the impressions, the five senses, pull the 
inner self this way and that, and, as can be seen from the prayoga or practical 
application of the Bhavana Upanishad, are considered to be shaktis or attendants 
of Paramashakti, the supreme goddess herself. In this connection, it is also worth 
looking at this particular page, which describes the physical and metaphysical 
apparatus of a human being, as an embodiment of Shiva Shakti. 

This underlies what some tantriks have described as the ulta sadhana, a reversal 
of the ordinary condition of the human being, who tends to wholly identify with 
one, two or several of the lesser shaktis, and so forgets her or his true nature. 

The practice of daily puja and the use of these ritual accessories is, then, 
recommended in the initial stages of sadhana as a way of reminding an 
individual of the unity of knower, knowledge and known - or worshipper, 
worship and worshipped. 

Food and Liquids 

Bearing these important considerations above in mind, we can turn to the 
elements used in puja. In the English introduction to the Gandharva Tantra on 
this site, chapters 16 and 17 allude to the ritual accessories (upacharas) which 
may be employed when worshipping Shri Shri Tripurasundari (Lalita). 


Food offered to a devata becomes holy (prasad) but that doesn't mean it's put to 
waste and it can be eaten afterwards by a sadhaka. 

It doesn't have to be vegetarian food. While most Hindus in modern-day India 
are vegetarians, some scholars consider this to be a consequence of the rise of 
the Vaishnavi movements. Bali (animal sacrifice) is viewed as an essential in 
many of the tantrik texts themselves, although even this has an inner meaning. 
The bipeds and quadrupeds to be sacrificed must be male. 

"O dark one, wondrous and excelling in every way, becomes the 
accomplishment of those worshippers who living in this world freely make 
offering to Thee in worship of the greatly satisfying flesh, together with hair and 
bones, of cats, camels, sheep, buffaloes, goats and men." Karpuradistotra v. 19, 
Woodroffe 's translation 

According to the Kaula commentary on this verse, the animals represent six 
enemies to sadhana, the goat standing for lust, the buffalo anger, the cat greed, 
the sheep delusion, the camel envy, and man pride and arrogance. This is all 
very well, but animal sacrifice is still practised today in nominally Shakta areas. 

As recently as 1980, a goat was sacrificed to Kali at her temple at Amber fort in 
Rajasthan, a practice banned by the government, which does not, however, seem 
to have taken similar steps against Pizza Hut or MacDonalds in India. 
(Sacrifices of quadrupeds to the multinationals seems to be OK, just as long as 
no religious element is involved.) 

In practice, it seems that many tantriks are happy to use substitutes for real 
animals, such as cucumbers, brinjals and the like. 

The Gandharva Tantra classifies food into four types, including liquids, and 
because it is to be offered to the goddess Tripurasundari, must be of the best 
quality and also served suitably, depending on the abilities of the practitioner. 
Fruit, sweetmeats, rice and other dishes are offered to the Devi while reciting a 

The liquids used for worship range from pure water right up to wine, with the 
Gandharva even including recipes for the alcoholic substance. While wine is an 
integral part of the panchatattvas, in the chapters on the secret sadhana found in 
the Devirahasya, mantras and rituals must be performed in order to remove 
curses on the liquid uttered by Brahma and Shukra. Wine, in this latter tantra, 
has its own divinity, Suradevi, and she has her own dhyanas and mantras. 


Wine, being the Devi herself in liquid form, can be understood as a symbol for 
the bliss arising from the realisation from work on oneself. A number of tantras 
caution against taking the text to advocate wholesale drunkenness 
(Kularnavatantra). When a pot of wine is seen, one should bow to it, as if to the 
Goddess herself (Kulachudamani, Brihadnilatantra). The Kularnava pours scorn 
on those who take tantrik texts literally, pointing out that if merely drinking 
wine, copulating and eating flesh and fish produced liberation, then many 
humans would already have achieved the state. This last passage refers to the 
rite known as panchatattva, the five things - often referred to as the 
panchamakara. These are the five elements starting with the letter "m" are 
madya (wine), mamsha (meat), matsya (fish), mudra (grain) and maithuna 
(sexual intercourse). There is a great deal of discussion in various tantrik schools 
about the significance of these elements in Virasadhana, but most agree that it is 
a special method prescribed only for heroes and heroines (vira), and unsuitable 
for the common herd (pashu). 

Aside from being a swipe at Brahmin orthodoxy, which views some of these 
elements with deep abhorrence, some important tantras, including the 
Kularnava, give them a metaphysical meaning. Some tantras vary the substances 
depending on the varna (Brahmin, Kshatriya etc). The Yoginitantra and other 
important texts also give the makaras a symbolic meaning. 

There is no agreed view on these matters. It is hard to take some verses of the 
Yonitantra or the Brihadnilatantra metaphorically, while the commentary on the 
Karpuradistotra, referred to above, specifically advocates the consumption of 
semen after ritual sexual intercourse. The Chandamaharoshana Tantra (see 
Bibliography ), a text of the Vajrayana which is, however, spoken of as a source 
in the Kaulavalinirnaya, is as explicit as you can get about these matters. 
Woodroffe says in his introduction: "The text goes on to say that there are 
people who regard semen and menstrual fluid with disgust (Vicharayet), but 
they forget that the body by .which they hope to attain Liberation is composed 
of these two forms of matter, that the narrow, bone and. tendons have come 
from the father and the skin, flesh and blood from the mother. It further says that 
there is no reason for man's disgust for excreta or urine, for these are nothing but 
food or drink which has undergone some change and contains living creatures 
and the Brahman substance is not absent there from. The purity that man ought 
to cultivate is that of the mind. All things are pure. It is one's mentality (Vasana) 
which is evil. " 

There is a variety of other, somewhat less contentious, liquids often referred to 
in tantrik texts which require some explanation. The panchagavya are the five 
products of the cow, including dung and urine. These are often consumed, 


although some texts also ascribe an inner meaning to these substances, related to 

The Gandharva describes padya (water for washing the feet), achamana (water 
for sipping), madhuparka (a sweet mixture of water, ghee, honey and other 
substances), and arghya (an offering to the Sun, poured over the head). 

Flowers, Scents, Perfumes and Incenses 

There is a huge variety described in the literature, which almost merits a book of 
its own. 

Incense (dhupa) is frequently employed in the daily puja, and this may and often 
is accompanied with various unguents (anjana), sweet smelling powders, oils 
(such as sandal oil) and other substances. 

Most of the tantrik texts available give pride of place to five fragrances, which, 
according to lists in Rai's "Encyclopedia of Yoga", are for Shakti or Devi agaru 
(aquilaria agallocha), karpura (camphor), kumkuma (crocus sativus), rochana 
(convolvulus turpentium) and jatamamshi (asparagus racemosa). 

Sandalwood (chandana) and other pleasant fragrances often find themselves on 
the lists. 

Flowers for the worship of Shakti, should normally be red, although this may 
vary depending on the type of rite, with other colours, including white and 
orange, often being employed. 

As by now we have come to expect, the vamachara tantras interpret flowers and 
scents in a way all of their own. Flowers (pushpa) has a similar meaning in 
Sanskrit to English, and are taken by some texts - for example the Matrikabheda 
Tantra, the Mahakalasamhita and other texts, to refer to menstrual blood. These 
are classified in different ways, depending on age and the qualifications of a 

Some of these may have the same name as other fragrances and scents - a trap 
for the unwary, who in this, as in all other matters, is to be guided by the guru. 
The Matrikabheda describes the use of menstrual fluids in a somewhat 
mysterious alchemical process - similar passages are to be found in the 
alchemical chapter in the Brihadnilatantra. 


The Tantrik Gayatri 

The soul is perfect; what can you improve ? You have everything; what is there 
to gratify? Aum will seek out the man of contemplation; Reveal to him the 
wonder of great secrets - The Book of Ashes, Dadaji 

The vedika form of the famous Gayatri mantra is: Om bhur-bhuvah-svah tat 
savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah pracodayat. This can 
be translated: Om. Let us contemplate the spirit of the divine of the earth, the 
atmosphere and heaven. May that direct our minds. Savitri is the Sun and this 
mantra is pronounced at the three junctions or twilights of the day. Only the 
twice-born Brahmins are supposed to utter it. 

The tantrik compilation Prapanchasaratantra, outlines pujas and meditations on 
Gayatri in chapter 20. Here is described how the mantra Om hums in the base or 
Muladhara chakra, and moves through seven stages to the chakra above the 
head. (Sahasrara). 

According to Sir John Woodroffe, in his introduction to the Sanskrit edition, 
Mahavishnu describes Om as consisting of the following. Bhuh is existence, 
Bhuva is the elements, Svah is the atma of everything, Maha is greatness and 
light, Tat is Brahman (the absolute), Tapah is all knowledge, Satyam is 
supremacy and internal wisdom. This tantra connects the three letters of Om 
(A+U+M) to the seven worlds. 

Tat, says Woodroffe, refers to the first cause of all substance, as fire in the circle 
of the sun and is supreme Brahman. Savituh is the source of all living beings. 
Varenyam is the excellent one who receives adoration. Bharga destroys sin, 
Devasya means it is full of light, while Dhimahi refers to knowledge being 
golden and always within the sun. Dhiyo means Buddhi, Yo stands for energy 
(tejas). The mantra is divided into three sections of eight letters and four sections 
of six letters. A dhyana (meditation) in the same chapter describes Gayatri as 
having four faces, which are white, yellow, red and black. 

Yet the tantrik tradition has different views of the Gayatri. For example, in the 
Matrikabhedatantra, there is a couplet which says a person who knows the 
Brahman (the absolute), is a brahmin. 

In the tantrik tradition, each aspect of devata has her or his own form of the 
Gayatri and it is often pronounced at the four junctions of the day, including 


For example, Tripurasundari Gayatri runs: Tripurasundari vidmahe, kameshvari 
dhimahi, tanno klinne pracodayat. This means: Let us contemplate 
Tripurasundari, let us think of Kameshvari, may that wetness direct. 

The Gandharva T antra uses the 24 different syllables of this mantra in Sanskrit 
as a visualisation, starting from the base of the spine and moving to the top of 
the head. 

The other tantrik Gayatri is a mantra known as Ajapa. This is recited by every 
living being unconsciously 21,600 times a day as she or he breathes. Half are 
sun breaths and half are moon breaths. It consists of the letters Ha and Sa. 

The Guru 

The guru is Brahma, the guru is Vishnu, the guru is deva Maheshvara. Clearly 
the guru is the supreme Brahman, to that Shri Guru hail - traditional tantrik 

Because the guru gives mantra to a disciple and because she or he embodies the 
spirit and life of that mantra in an unbroken lineage to the Rishi who first 
perceived it, she or he is held in the utmost regard in the tantrik tradition. 

According to the 13th chapter of the influential Kularnava Tantra, there is no 
difference between devata, mantra and guru. "Devata in truth is the same as 
mantra; mantra in truth is the same as the guru. The fruit of the worship of the 
devata, mantra and guru is the same." (Ram Kumar Rai translation). 

Liberation cannot be obtained by reading the Vedas or studying the shastras 
(sacred texts), the same Kaula tantra says. Only knowledge (jnana) gives 
liberation and that depends on the grace of the guru, who is one with Lord Shiva 
and Shakti. "If the guru first mentally awakens the pupil and then reveals to him 
this high knowledge of Kula, then both enjoy direct companionship of Yogini 
and Vira and even cross this worldly ocean effortlessly." (Kularnava Tantra, II. 

But a Kaula guru may behave in a different way from a disciple or the ordinary 
world expects, because she or he is liberated. "One may be like a child, a 
madman, a king, or like one in a swoon, independent minded, like a lord hero, 
like a Gandharva, or like a naked person, a tridandin or like one who sells Veda 
for cash. Effulgent One, the way to be is to act howsoever one wills, knowing 
both Akula and Devi's Kula." (Kaula Jnana Nirnaya, XII. 3-6.) 


This tradition of the "crazy" guru is embedded deep in the lore of the tantriks 
and the Nathas and has its value in shaking the conditioning of someone who 
aspires to be a Kaula, the tradition avers. For similar reasons, some elements of 
the tantrik tradition in India, such as worship in cremation grounds, the 
consumption of pig flesh and some sexual practices, were intended to rattle 
orthodox tendencies in tantrik pupils. 

While orthodoxy appeared to regard women as inferior to men, the Kaulas took 
a different approach. Initiation from a female guru is held in the highest esteem, 
as she is Shakti on earth. The female guru is Ananda Bhairavi and the male guru 
Ananda Bhairava, together in sexual union, drinking the intoxicating wine of 
consciousness which is bliss (ananda) itself. Below, we find a meditation 
(dhyana) and an armour (kavacha) devoted to the Stri or female guru, ascribed to 
the Brahmayamala. The armour in the first translation is made up from the vidya 
(mantra) of the female guru. After this is a short hymn (stotra) to the male guru 
from the Matrikabhedatantra, in which his identification with Shiva is plain. 
The bija or root mantra of the guru, illustrated left, is Hskphrem. 

3W #f^^ *3R^: 

WM<H<HT §W3|i *^ftf^n tjj^ 

This is the meditation image (dhyana) of the young female guru. Om. With eyes 
like fully blossoming lotus petals, firm swelling breasts, a sweetly smiling face, 
and a slender waist, one should meditate on the auspicious female guru, shining 
like the red lotus, wearing beautiful red clothes, wearing a red ring on her hand, 
and beautiful jewelled anklets, resembling the effulgence of a hibiscus, her feet 
like like a lotus, her face like the brightness of the autumn Moon, her body 
resplendent, with her own Natha sitting on her left, her hands [showing the 


mudras] granting boons and dispelling fear. Having meditated in this way, one 
should do puja. 

ftRfe H^fe WW TO I sft F^l^dR TO: I 
^TC?*n ^TT StrPT ^T#W^T^I II ? II 

Striguru Kavacha. Of this Striguru Kavacha, the Female Guru is the devata and 
attaining the four aims of mankind is the application Obeisance to Sadashiva on 
the head. Obeisance to the Female Guru in the heart. Ishvara said: Sadashiva is 
the rishi of this Female Guru kavacha. It is said that this devata is the fruit-giver 
of the four aims. [1] 

$ «H ^S^t; ^rT e^ h *kiRmi II 3 II 

Om Klim bija protect my head, the same protect my forehead. Klim bija protect 
my eyes and Sadashiva all my limbs. [2] 

ift #^ H^yi&i h se^rS H^ra^ ii 3 ii 

Aim bija protect my face and Hrim encompass my tongue. Shrim bija protect the 
region of the shoulders and Hskphrem my two arms. [3] 

S3SR; cfcu^i H H^T?: %^T ^^ I 
appfer^T; ^rT ^^T?t ^ ^ II tf II 


The letter Ha protect the area of my throat and the letter Sa the sixteen petals. 
Ksha must protect me below and the letter Ka my heart. [4] 

The letter Va (protect my) back and the letter Ra my right side. The syllable 
Hum my left side and the letter Sa my spine. [5] 

W^HT^fe qRf W£R: TR! H ^TWT II 5 II 

S3 S3 S3 ^ 

The letter Ha my right hand and the letter Ksha my left. The letter Ma must 
protect my fingers and the letter Ma must protect my nails. [6] 

#^R: ^T^ltf ^flt H^ff^^ II "a II 

The letter Va protect my rear and the letter Ra my belly. The syllable Yim my 
feet and Hsauh protect all of my limbs. [7] 

^fl; fe^£ ^farft #srp ^k^ i 

3 #^ *trt m h ff ^K ^Ms^r II = II 

S3 e* S3 

Hsauh shield the penis and the hair of the body and the head. Aim bija protect 
me in the East and Hrim bija shield me in the South. [8] 

s3 e^ %. 

$ ^ ^Tf^T^I ^ ^TSI W^S^T II ^11 


Shrim bija protect me in the West and Bhutasambhava in the North. Aim must 
protect me in the South East and Om (vedadya) in the South West. [9] 

Devyamba must protect me in the North West and Shri Paduka in the North 
East. Pujayami must protect me above and Namah below. [10] 

3? I ^ i 3$B W\^ 3^T3 q^n^H^ I 

B te B W\: Hl$ft fe mm^ H^R: II ?? Jl 

Om thus to you, Charming One, is declared the supremely marvellous armour. 
After reciting the guru mantra if one should then read the armour, one becomes 
a siddha, with ganas (hosts) like Shiva, clearly, there is no doubt. [11] 

f^F^T *f: H6d2$\ B fagf ^T3 %q; II ^ II 

At puja time one should recite the armour, the very body of the mantra. It gives 
the fruit of puja, Sureshvari, this is true, true. Whoever recites it at the three 
twilights become successful, there is no doubt about this. [12] 

m ftfeeq -*tftm Fro^i m*%ift i 

m^ t^PIHI^T =nfcft fr^RT ^mt II ?3 II 

If one should write it on bhurja (birch bark), wrapped up in a golden ball, and by 
showing it, for him the disputatious becomes humiliated (lit. deprived of 
radiance - nishprabha), [13] 


In knowledge he is victorious and in war he is like Nirriti, the goddess of death, 
in assemblies he gains victory and is my equal, no doubt. [14] 

B ^ Ife^ll fWiTC%ra II ?*ll 

Whosoever should recite it at the three twilights in the 1,000 petalled lotus, 
becomes like Siddhalokesha and attains to Nirvana. [15] 

^FT 35FT ^ <%^ ^ JT^T^T WZJ^ II ?SII 

The kavacha (armour) is called the accumulation of good fortune and is 
supremely marvellous. To whom should it never be given nor revealed? [16] 

^q ft^nq ^T=rnq ^T^qT faws ^ I 
3W#vq^r ^ftl q^%ft ^ ^M^ II ?^ll 

One should give it to a peaceful pupil, otherwise it is without fruit. Never show 
it, Deveshi, to the undevoted or to (their?) sons. [17] 

B ^TTR^ TO rTFJT <TC ^ ^p 3^ II ?= II 

Whoever recites this kavacha without knowing the vidya, gains no fruit and 
afterwards goes to the Naraka (underworld). [18] 


5% 3W^ qT^STCHeTT^ #H^ J l^?^^^ HHI L d*^ 

So in the Brahmayamala, in the conversation with Parvati, the Shrimad Stri 
Guru Kavacha is completed. 

Shrimad Guru Paduka Stotra 

I worship the 12 lettered lotus adorned with the Kundali nadi in the womb of the 
marvellous and eternally white and pure 1,000 petal lotus. [1] 

I worship that auspicious white seat in the cavity of the flowering pericarp, 
where exist the lines of A- Ka-Tha and so forth, forming a circle marked with 
angles. [2] 

I meditate in my heart on that beautiful jewel throne of bindu and nada, the 
circle of consciousness, in that cavity where a bright lightning-like colour 
competes with the effulgence of a pale red gem. [3] 

I envelop myself in those two primordial swans above me, flaming consumers of 
fire, devouring the cosmos, abounding in great manifestation, those flowering 
feet. [4] 

I remember those wonderful feet, the pair which are the root of cooling moon 
rays, the two feet of Natha, sun and moon, like saffron wine, a river of flower- 
juice. [5] 

The nails of which are radiant like the moon, those gold-bejewelled, glittering, 
purifying, red padukas, which restrain the clamour of evil. I worship the two feet 
of the guru, sun and moon, supreme essence of nectar, pure quintessence, 
brilliant, the very core of power, placed on my head. [6] 

This five-fold paduka hymn has come from the five faces of Shiva. [7] 

So ends the Shrimad Guru Paduka Stotra, uttered by Shiva in the Shri 
Matrikabheda Tantra. 


Tantrik Ritual - Puja 

Those who worship with the object of attaining a particular reward gain such 
reward which (however) is as destructible as a kingdom acquired in a dream. 
Those, however, who rightly act without hope of reward attain nirvana and are 
released from rebirth - Mahanirvana Tantra, XIII, 41 (Avalon) 

Outer Worship (bahiryaga) 

Puja (worship) can take many forms and is but one aspect of the tradition. It can 
be either performed externally or internally. A tantrik may perform daily puja to 
her or his particular devata and this can be a beautiful rite involving all the 

The daily puja, whatever the favoured deity, includes worship of the Sun, Lord 
Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu and Ganesha. For details see Shri Puja and Subhagodaya 
on this site. The main concept in puja is that the god or goddess are considered 
to be actually present in the yantra or image used and are given worship and 
treated as honoured guests. All recitation, mudras and ritual elements are given 
to her/him. Yet she/he is one with the worshipper, not separate. 

Various ritual accessories (upachara) are used in the daily ceremony, with the 16 
principal items being asana (seat), svagata (welcome), padya (water for washing 
feet), arghya (rice, flowers, sandal paste etc.), achamana (sipping water), 
madhuparka (honey, ghee, milk, curd), snana (bathing), vasana (clothes), 
abharana (gems), gandha (perfume and sandal), pushpa (flowers), dhupa 
(incense stick), dipa (flame), naivedya (food) and namaskar (prayer). These may 
be multiplied up, depending on the devata. However, despite differences, all 
daily pujas follow a very similar pattern. 

Other of the many elements in daily puja include meditation and recitation of the 
particular mantra of the devata, as well as worship of the Guru, considered to be 
one with Shiva. 

Other types of worship include optional pujas (kamya), usually performed for 
some particular object. According to the tradition, these may only be performed 
if daily puja is also done. 

In the Kaulachara division of tantrika, the puja may take the form of 
worshipping a living human being as incarnating the god/goddess. Some tantriks 
also perform their own form of the Vedik homa sacrifice, with particular shaped 
fire-pits for the sacrifice. 


There are other important components in the daily puja, such as the Gayatri. 
There are tantrik as well as vedik gayatris. 

The mala or rosary is used in reciting the mantra of the deity. In nyasa or 
placing, the rites transform the body of the worshipper into mantra and devata. 
View Yantra. There are many examples of yantras on this site. But turn here for 
information on materials as well as an example of 'installing life' into a yantra. 

When a sadhaka (m) or sadhvini (f) realises his or her oneness with the devata, 
there is no need for external puja, which can be considered a method of realising 
that oneness. 

Inner Worship (antaryaga) 

As with so many other aspects of the tantrik tradition, there is a gross, a subtle 
and a supreme aspect to worship. External puja, using either an image or another 
object such as a yantra or a lingam, is a dualistic form intended, however, to lead 
the sadhaka to the recognition that there is no difference between worshipper 
and the worshipped. 

After a certain stage, outer worship may no longer be necessary, or may be 
further complemented with inner worship. Here, for example, offerings to the 
favoured god or goddess (the isthadevata), may be in the form of offering the 
senses and the other elements and functions of the human body, all taken here to 
represent shaktis. 

This is also combined with meditation and contemplation of the essential 
oneness of worshipper and worshipped, and may include other elements of the 
outer worship including recitation of the mantra (J a P a )- 

In fact, the external puja points to the internal worship. The different nyasas, 
mudras (hand gestures) and other paraphernalia is intended to produce that 
feeling of oneness in the sadhaka or sadhika. The tantras proclaim the unity of 
macrocosm with microcosm. 

According to the Tantrarajatantra, supreme worship is when the mind, which 
both accepts and rejects, dissolves into the still, deep source. 


Malas or Rosaries 

As Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara, God is not conscious of a Trinity; As the 
rose knows nothing of its fragrance, Men do not know their own Divinity - Dust 
and Bones, Dadaji 

Malas (rosaries) are an integral part of puja , being used to count the mantra 
recited to the devata installed in image or yantra. According to Devirahasya, the 
classic Tantrika rosaries are made of conch- shell, pearls, rodhra (symplocos 
racemosa), crystal, rudraksha, tulsi (basil), rubies, gold, lotus seeds, skull 

One should commence by purifying oneself, doing the usual nyasas, opening the 
temple, and making the rosary. The number of beads may be 27, 54 or 108 -but 
there is always an extra bead inserted — called the meru, so that one knows when 
the cycle is finished. 

Breath should then be installed in the rosary. Again, according to the 
Devirahasya, the seer of the purification is Kalagnirudra, the metre is 
Anushtubh, Shmashana Bhairavi, the Night of Time, the Great Playful One 
adorned with Human Skulls is the devata. Hsau is the Bija, Thah is the Shakti, 
Hrah is the Peg, and the object is the purification of the rosary. 

After installing breath, the rosary should be bathed with the appropriate pure 
substances (upachara). 

The mantras given in "Devirahasya" are: 

Conch: Om Shrim Shrim Om Shankhini Om Shrim Om. 

Pearl: Om Hrim Hrim Om Muktamalini Shrim Shrim Svaha. 

Rodhra: Om Strim Om Raudre Rodhramalini Sah Svaha. 

Crystal: Om Ah Hram Hram Arkamale Hram Svaha. 

Rudraksha: Om Ah Shrim Hrim Rum Rudrakshamalini Shuddha Bhava Svaha. 

Tulsi: Om Shrim Om Strim Tulasi Vaishnavi Vaushad Svaha. 

Ruby: Om Trom Dhum Manimale Manohare Svaha. 

Gold: Om Shrim Trim Aim Klim Sauh Suvarnamale Sauh. 

Lotus Seed: Om Prim Om Padma Akshamalini Hsauh Svaha. 

Skull/Teeth: Hrim Shrim Klim Hram Sauh Dantamale Mundamale Prim Strim 

Hsauh Svaha. 

After purifying the rosary with the appropriate mantra, one should then use it, 
using one's root mantra, and worshipping it with scent, flowers etc. 


Then one should pronounce the following great mantra: Om Male Male 
Mahamale Sarvatattvasvarupini Caturvargastvayi Nyastastasmanme Siddhida 
Bhava Svaha. (Om, O Rosary, Rosary, Great Rosary, the true form of all things, 
place in me the Four Aims of Mankind. Give siddhi! Svaha ) 

One should then close the rite in the usual tantrika fashion, placing the breath in 
the heart again &c. When using a rosary to recite mantras, the fruit of the 
recitation should be given to the installed aspect in the yantra. Cycles of mantra 
should be 27:54:108 and more, according to will. The index finger should never 
be used when counting the beads, but the thumb and middle finger. The rosary 
should be kept safely away from others when not in use, and should never be 
allowed to touch the ground. If this happens, it must be reconsecrated. The same 
procedure should be undertaken if the string is cut. The beads should be scented 
with the eight great scents. 


Mantras and Vidyas - Godhead as sound 

There will be born at London English folk whose mantra for worship is in the 
Phiringa (foreign) language, who will be undefeated in battle and Lords of the 
World - Meru Tantra, XXIII, 17th century 

The 5 1 matrikas (letters of the Sanskrit alphabet) constitute the Goddess in the 
form of sound. This is why Kali wears a garland of 5 1 skulls and it is also why 
these letters are shown on the petals of the six chakras. The yantra above is 
called the Tortoise Chakra (source Gandharva Tantra) and is used to determine 
whether the area a practitioner is working in is inimical or not to his worship. 

Below is the Matrika Chakra. This, says Ram Kumar Rai in his excellent 
Encyclopaedia of Yoga, is to be drawn with saffron (kesara) for Shakti worship 
and with ashes (bhasma) for Lord Shiva worship. It contains all the 5 1 matrikas 
and is used in the first of the ten rites to purify a mantra (samskara) after it has 
been received from a guru. On the petals of the yantra are the consonants while 
the vowels are in the eight spokes. In the centre is the syllable Hsauh while in 
the cardinal directions is the Bam bija and in the intermediate directions the 
Tham bija mantra. 

Perhaps one of the clearest expositions 
of the tantrik view of mantra is given in 
Sir John Woodroffe's collection of 
essays, Shakti and Shakta, chapter 24. 

The supreme absolute (Parabrahman) 
exists in the human being (jivatma) as 
Shabda Brahman, the absolute as sound. 
Mantras are not prayers and the 
relationship of the letters of the Sanskrit 
alphabet, whether consonants or vowels, 
he says, point to the appearance of 
devata (divinity) in different forms. An 
uttered mantra is the manifestation of a 
more subtle sound while mantras 

themselves are forms of Kundalini . Mantras may be male, female or neutral. 

Female mantras are called Vidyas. 

"By Mantra the sought for (Sadhya) Devata appears, and by Siddhi therein is 
had vision of the three worlds. As the Mantra is in fact Devata, by practice 
thereof this is known. Not merely do the rhythmical vibrations of its sound 


regulate the unsteady vibrations of the sheaths of the worshipper, but therefrom 
the image of the Devata appears." (op cit) Mantras are masculine (solar), 
feminine (lunar) or neuter. A female mantra is called a vidya, which means 
knowledge, while solar and neuter forms are called mantras. Mantras are only 
such if they were first revealed by a rishi or seer. Only then do they have life, 
according to the tradition. A mantra can only work if it is received from a guru 
who has, herself or himself, received it in an unbroken line from its first rishi. 
There are, however, exceptions to this, according to some tantras which 
prescribe methods of purification for mantras received in dream. And, according 
to Mahachinachara, the Kali mantra does not rely on the very elaborate rules 
usually found in the Tantras. 

In describing mantras, the different tantrik texts always give their origin or rishi 
as well as the metre to pronounce them. While a mantra is divinity in sound 
form, a yantra is the same in geometrical form and an image the devata in gross 
form. Refer also to the page on Tattvas on the relationship between the 
consonants and the 36 tattvas. 

Bija Mantras 

The word Bija means a seed and describes a mantra which is usually of one 
syllable. There are many tantrik 'dictionaries' of the matrikas which indicate 
their significance as well as the meaning of the bija or seed mantras. This 
section below draws information from the Bhutadamara (BD); the 
Varnanighantu (VN), alleged to be part of the Rudrayamala ; and the 
Uddharakosha (UK), ascribed to Dakshinamurti. Longer mantras are often 
formed from a concatenation of these bijas. The table below is not exhaustive, 
there are many more bijas. 


































H ~5:Z: 


Klrim Svaha 



Tham Tham Thah Thah 













Om is the most renowned bija mantra. The Bhutadamara describes it as the face 
of Kala. Revealed by Mahakala, it is the form of creation, maintenance and 

The bija mantra Shrim is described as Vishnupriya - the beloved of Vishnu - that 
is Lakshmi, according to the UK. The syllable Hrim is called the Maya bija. It is 
also Raudri, according to the Bhutadamara. The UK describes it as the Para or 
supreme bija. The bija mantra Krim is described as the pitribhuvasini, that is the 
goddess who dwells in the ancestral or cremation ground, Kali. It is also the 
dravana and kledana bija. 

Hum with the long letter 'u' is called the Kurcha bija and is the mantra of the 
Mother worshipped by heroes (viras). The Bhutadamara also describes it as the 
mantra of Mahakala. Aim is called Vagbhava bija and is the syllable of 
Sarasvati , according to the BD. Phat is the bija of the great fire at the end of time 
(Pralay agnirmahaj vala) . 

Krom is called the Krodhisha bija. Svaha, otherwise known as Thah Thah, is 
Vahnijaya, representing the fire sacrifice. 

Klim is the deluder of the three worlds bija, also known as Kama or Manmatha, 
the Hindu god of love, often identified with Krishna . It is the sexual desire bija, 
says the BD. Hum (with the short letter 'u') is called the Kavacha or armour bija. 
It is the bija of Chandabhairavi. Hraim is the bija which destroys great sins 
(mahapataka), and is the light mantra. Drim is called the great Kinkini (small 
bell) bija, says the Bhutadamara. 

Sphem is the Bhairava (Shiva) bija which comes at the end of a yuga. Plrem is 
the Vetala (vampire) bija, according to the Bhutadamara. 


Klrim Svaha is called the bija which causes things to tremble. It is the Manohari 
and ends in Thah Thah (Svaha, see above). The mantra Prim is the crow bija, 
used in works of Indrajala (magic). The UK describes this bija as the Vagura. 
Tham Tham Thah Thah are the bijas in the worship of the greatly alluring 
Chandika, says the BD. Sphrim is the bija of the uncanny Dhumrabhairavi 
(smoky Bhairavi), also known as Phetkarini. 

The bija Hrum (with long letter 'u') is the single syllable mantra of Kalaratri, the 
great night of time. The same bija, but with a short letter 'u', is the mantra of 

Hskphrem, says the BD, is the bija mantra of Ananda Bhairava in the form of 
one's own guru. 

Meditation (Dhyana) 

Shri Devi said: One may meditate on a visible image, O Mahadeva. What is the 
nature of meditation on the invisible? Shri Shankara said: O Devi, sound, 
uttered by me, is the absolute. By pronouncing a mantra with a devoted mind, 
there is invisible meditation and so forth. Maheshvari, this is true, true, self 
evident, undoubtedly - Matrikabhedatantra XII, 5-7 

The Kularnava Tantra defines dhyana in the following way: "Controlling the 
affliction of senses by the mind, contemplation by the inner being of the chosen 
deity is called dhyana" . (KT XVII, 36,). 

In the tantrik traditions, there are numerous dhyanas which require intense 
visualisation skills, themselves part of the "work on oneself" or sadhana required 
by an initiate. Simply put, in the Bhagavad Gita that what the mind thinks on it 

Underlying these practices is the basic tantrik idea that the worshipper and the 
worshipped are one. Kalika, Shiva or any of the other 33 million devatas do not 
live in some separate place as disembodied beings who can bestow boons or 
curses. Instead, the macrocosm is, as the Todala Tantra and many other texts 
state, one with the microcosm. (See also the abstract of the 
Siddhasiddhantapaddhi on this site). 

Not only is the ability to visualise in a concentrated manner one of the elements 
of sadhana, it is both a preliminary and an essential basis for many other tantrik 
practices, including the daily puja or worship, optional practices, nyasa , many 
yogic practices such as intense visualisations on the inner body a la 


Kaulajnananirnaya, the recitation of mantra, meditation of yantras, the 
performance of mudras and even sexual sadhana for some of the heterodox 
tantrik schools. 

Not only must an adept be able to visualise sometimes very complex images, but 
also be able to hold such images, concentratedly, often for a long period of time. 
External images, the different elements of puja, and repeated practice lead 
eventually, so the masters of these traditions tell us, to perfection in which the 
meditator, the means of meditation and the meditated on are realised in their 
essential unity. Devotion and grace may also assist towards this end. 

As with many other elements in the tantrik traditions, these 
visualisations/meditations can have either a gross, a subtle or supreme form. 

"...attachment of mind to anything (raga) is Redness. The Consummation of 
worship (Upasti) is meditation one's Self. Siddhi is attained when thought does 
not wander from the contemplation of the identity of one's Self with the Object 
of Worship." 

This same tantra also gives examples of gross, subtle and supreme meditations 
on Tripurasundari. Avalon says in his introduction that the relation of Lalita 
with the other fifteen Nityas is the gross form, subtle meditation is when one 
meditates on the goddess in the six bodily centres or chakras, while the supreme 
form is meditation on the supreme Shakti as "one, impartite and impartible 
whole and visualising the Atma as a steady, motionless flame in a windless 

From another point of view, the absolute, whether seen as Shiva, Shakti, or the 
union of the two, takes the form of an image or pratima in its gross form, of a 
yantra in its subtle form, and of a mantra in its supreme form. All three represent 
devata but are progressively more subtle. An advanced adept will develop the 
ability to visualise not just images of "gods" and "goddesses" but complex 
yantras such as the Shri Yantra. 

It is clear from the foregoing, and from the many complex examples of 
meditation given on this Web site, that achieving a degree of success in these 
practices is not, necessarily, an easy thing. 

This brings us to the iconography of the tantrik devis and devatas. The images 
sold in every Indian bazaar of Lakshmi, Shiva, Ganesh and others, where true to 
their original descriptions, are based on meditation images found in the tantras, 
the puranas and in other texts. The number of arms and heads, the weapons held 
in such hands, and other elements of the dhyanas, are intended to remind a 


practitioner of the essential nature of the devata meditated on. They often have a 
symbolic meaning, as well as providing rich imagery as objects of meditation. 

Nyasa - divinity in the body 

Mental worship is superior, and external worship is inferior. By worshipping 
Devata, a sadhaka is himself honoured - Niruttara Tantra 

The word Nyasa means placing and refers to a large component of tantrik 
ritualism in which the practitioner touches various parts of the body at the same 
time pronouncing a mantra and visualising a devata or a bija (root) mantra. 
Nyasa is supposed to "divinise" the body of the worshipper. 

There are many types of nyasa, with some being very complex and elaborate. 
One example on this site is Mahashodha nyasa where a sadhaka or sadhvika 
places planets, constellations, sacred sites and other elements of Lalita's 
cosmology on her or his body. This demonstrates the identity of macrocosm and 
microcosm in the tantrik tradition. 

The types of nyasa most often encountered in tantrika ritual are Rishi Nyasa, 
Kara (hand) Nyasa, Matrika Nyasa and Sadanga Nyasa. Every mantra has a 
Rishi or seer who first pronounced the mantra, thus giving birth to a line. 
According to many tantrik texts, using mantras which you take from books is 
fruitless, although this rule does not hold for Mahachinachara and, say some, the 
worship of Shri Shri Kali. 

Matrika Nyasa is a form where the 50 letters of the Sanskrit alphabet are placed 
on the body. As this is done, the practitioner uses various hand gestures 
(mudras). The letters are prefixed with Om and suffixed with namah. 

Sadanga Nyasa uses bijas connected with long vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet. 
Again, there are many examples here on this site. 

The worship of different devatas introduces forms of Nyasa tailored to the 
particular divinity. For example, in the ritual worship of Bala, there are optional 
forms such as the Nine Yoni Nyasa, relating to the nine triangles in her yantra 
and an Arrow Nyasa, related to the five flowering arrows she holds in one of her 

And in the worship of Jvalamukhi, there is a very extended Nyasa which relates 
to the 21,600 breaths a human being takes in a day and a night. This is related to 
the position of the chakras within the human frame. 


The worship of Kali is very ancient and there are hundreds of forms of related 
Nyasas. In an appendix to the Guhyakali section of the Mahakalasamhita, we 
find a multitude including Kalikulakrama Nyasa, Yogini Nyasa, Yajnamaharaja 
Nyasa, and so on and forth. 

The Thirty-six Tattvas 

He who is deluded by your maya sees not while he sees, understands not while 
he hears, and knows not the truth while he reads - Kularnava Tantra 

Because of the large number of possible blendings and re-blendings, the 36th 
tattva - Shiva Shakti - may seem to become identified, conditioned and 

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The five-foldness (prapancha) of the universe, according to this tantrik view, is 
shown in the table above. The three members of the tantrik "trinity", Brahma, 
Vishnu and Shiva-Rudra, represent the gunas, or qualities of rajas, sattva and 
tamas, which may be represented by the principles of active, reconciling and 
negative. From this triangle come all forms, including the five elements, through 
different blendings. 

The individual (jiva) forgets her or his unlimited nature, which is actually one 
with Shiva-Shakti, considering herself or himself to be a limited individual 
(Purusha) with a certain nature (Prakriti). 


This is a reflection or shadow of the 36th tattva with a mental apparatus which is 
itself also a reflection of Iccha, Jnana and Kriya Shaktis. For instance, the "I", 
the ahamkar, is the reflection of Iccha. This limited individual has powers of 
action and powers of knowledge and focuses on the tanmatras, or impression 
objects, considering herself or himself to be different from the five verities. 

In this form, she or he plays in the world until realising the 36th tattva which is 
Shiva-Shakti itself, immanent in the universe and vibrating with the power of 
sound. From another point of view, the 36 consonants are Shiva and the 15 
vowels are Shakti - the whole being the universe as sound. The five verities are 
also sometimes described as the five Shiva corpses. 


Yantra and Pranapratishta 

The complex nature of yantra syntax corrects the views of some scholars who 
have wrongly labelled all yantras 'magic' diagrams. Diagrams used for occult 
purposes form a separate category which has evolved within the tradition, and 
the role of such yantras is peripheral in comparison with that of yantras for 
meditation - Yantra, Madhu Khanna 

The suffix 'tra' in Sanskrit means instrument. Yantras are the geometrical form 
of a divinity in the tantrik tradition. Images (murtis) and mantras are other, more 
gross and subtle, representations. Yantras can be drawn, engraved or painted on 
a variety of substances. The classical eight tantrik surfaces are gold, silver, 
copper, crystal, birch, bone, hide (which can include any type of paper), and 
Vishnu stone (shalagrama). 

The yantra shown left is for Kali, and can be used to illustrate the basic 
geometrical concepts used. The point or bindu at the centre, generally represents 
the deity, or sometimes Shiva and Shakti united. The triangle normally 

represents the three gunas, or in the case of the tantrik 
tradition, the three bindus. Triangles usually face 
downwards in the case of female yantras and upwards in 
male yantras. There are exceptions - the Shri Yantra is 
one such. Triangles are often surrounded by enclosing 
circles and a group or groups of petals, in which are the 
attendants of the Devis or Devas. See the 
Mahamrityunja yantra for a complete example. Finally, 
the whole is often enclosed in a bhupura, a word which 
means earth-city. These are the enclosing walls, fenced 
by the guardians of the directions and the intermediate 
directions (dikpalas). Some traditions use the yantra in 
puja from the outside inward, and others from the inside outward, depending on 
the nature of the deity. There are many other yantras which have their own 
individual shapes, often used in magic (prayoga). One such shown here is an 
akarshana (attraction) yantra from the magical Kamaratnatantra. 


A yantra is only truly vitalised when it is engraved with the bija and other 
mantras and surrounded with the matrikas, or letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. 
Before use, it must be installed with life, a rite called Pranapratishta 
(establishing breath). The following is an example. 


Installation of Life in a Shri Yantra 

Before any yantra is a suitable object for puja, it must be given life 
(pranapratishta). The following, from Nityotsava, describes the process. This, 
process, incidentally, also holds true for initiation of a candidate into Shri Vidya. 
The rite installs the 35 tattvas into the yantra. It also gives the yantra the full set 
of senses and the Antahkarana, or subtle body. It is said that engraving a Shri 
Yantra on gold is said to hold good for life, on silver for seven years. The 
process also imbues the yantra with the matrika, the letters of the Sanskrit 
alphabet which are the goddess as sound. 

The Yantra Gayatri is Yantrarajaya Vidmahe Mahay antraya Dhimahi Tanno 
Yantrah Prachodayat. 

Brahmna-Vishnu-Maheshvara are the Rishis of this great mantra installing life 

into the Shri Yantra; Rg, Yajur, Sam and Atharva are the Metres; Consciousness 

is the Devata; Am is the Bija, Hrim the Shakti, Krom the Kilaka. The 

application is installation of life into the Shri Chakra. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am Kam Kham Gam Gham Nam to Earth, Water, Fire, Air 

and Aether, Am to the thumbs Namah. 

3 Im Cham Ccham Jam Jham Nam to Sound, Touch, Sight, Taste, Smell Im to 

the index fingers Namah. 

3 Um Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam to Hearing, Touch, Eyes, Tongue, Nose Um 

to the middle fingers Namah. 

3 Um Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam to Speech, Hands, Feet, Genitals, Anus Aim 

to the ring fingers Namah. 

3 Om Pam Pham Bam Bham Mam to Talking, Giving, Moving, Enjoying, 

Excreting Aum to the little fingers Namah. 

3 Am Yam Ram Lam Vam Sham Sham Sam Ham Lam Ksham to Manas 

(mind), Buddhi (intellect), Ahamkara(ego), Thought, Inner Cause, Ah to the 

palm and back of the hands Namah. 

(Thus Heart &c. Nyasa) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Om Am Hrim Krom Yam Ram Lam Vam Sham Sham Sam 

Haun Ham Sah may Life exist here in the Shri Chakra! 

3 Om Am Hrim Krom Yam Ram Lam Vam Sham Sham Sam Ham Ham Sah my 

individual existence be here in the Shri Chakra! 

3 Om Am Hrim Krom Yam Ram Lam Vam Sham Sham Sam Ham Ham Sah 

may all the senses be here in the Shri Chakra! 

3 Om Am Hrim Krom Yam Ram Lam Vam Sham Sham Sam Haum Ham Sah, 

may Speech, Mind, Eyes, Ears, Tongue, Nose, Breath come inside this Shri 

Chakra! May Happiness stay long here! Svaha. 


Internal meditations 

Yantras may also be visualised internally. That, for example, is the case with the 
Shri Yantra, with the different mandalas starting at the base of the spine and 
going to the top of the head. 

Different rituals exist for the purification of a yantra for the eight materials 
mentioned above. This which follows is drawn from the Devirahasya. Shiva is 
the Seer, Trishtubh the Metre, Parashakti the Devata, Shrim the Bija, Hrim the 
Shakti and Klim the Peg. The application is the purification of the given yantra. 

After doing hand and limb nyasa, one should meditate on the throne of the given 
Devi as being in one's heart. One should draw, engrave, or paint the yantra, and 
place it on a gold colour pedestal, installing breath into it. 

It can be smeared with Kunda, Gola or Udbhava flowers or with the eight scents. 
The mantra differs for each material: 

Gold: Aim Sauh Aim Sauh Chakreshvari Yantram Sauvarnam Shodhaya 
Shodhaya Svaha. (Aim Sauh Aim Sauh, O Lady of the Chakra, Purify! Purify 
the gold yantra! Svaha) 

Silver: Om Rum Om Rajatam Yantram Shodhaya Shodhaya. (Om Rum Om 
Purify ! purify the silver yantra) 

Copper: Om Krom Om Strim Om Krom Tamreshvari Yantram Me Shodhaya. 
(Om Krom Om Strim Om Krom, O Lady of Copper, purify the copper yantra for 

Crystal: Om Shrim Hrim Om Kulambike Shodhaya Shodhaya. 

Birch bark: Om Hum Shrim Hrim Prim Ruddhesvari Parayantram Shodhaya. 
(Om Hum Shrim Hrim Prim O Lady of Trees, purify the yantra!) 

Bone: Om Aim Klim Sauh Kapalamalini Yantram Shodhaya Svaha. (Om Aim 
Klim Sauh O Thou garlanded with skulls, purify the yantra! Svaha) 

Hide: Om Shrim Om Aim Klim Citasane Yantram Shodhaya Svaha. (Om Shrim 
Om Aim Klim O Thou Whose seat is the Pyre, purify the yantra! Svaha) 

Vishnu Stone (Shalagrama): Om Hsau Aim Sauh Klim Shrim Shrim Nitye 
Vishnu Shila Yantram Shodhaya. (Om Hsau Aim Sauh Klim Shrim Shrim, O 
Eternal One, purify the Vishnu Stone Yantra ) 


After using the appropriate mantra, the yantra should be placed on a pedestal 
(pitha), and bathed with the substances previously described, whilst the 
appropriate root mantra is recited. One should then offer scent and flowers, and 
should worship the appropriate Devi in the usual form within the yantra. This all 
should be done at night. 

Carrying a Yantra. This is considered to be a highly potent way of concentrating 
magical power. The time to do this is during an auspicious astrological period. 
The yantra should be drawn using the eight Kaula perfumes. Outside the yantra 
the root mantra should be written. 

On the outside of this the armour (kavacha) and 1000 names should be written. 
The Devi should be invoked into the yantra in due form. All good substances are 
to be used. The yantra is then entwined with gold and silver thread, and placed 
into a metal holder and may be worn on the person. 

Yantras should always be used on the level. If drawn on paper the colours 
preferable are red, orange, yellow or a combination of these. A yantra without 
bija mantras is dead. They can be drawn to whatever size is required. 

The two main types of yantra are Bhu and Meru. The former is flat, two 
dimensional, the latter is of pyramidal form. When not in use they should be 
stored carefully. Metal ones should be regularly cleaned to prevent corrosion 
etc. In worship they should be placed level on a pedestal or pitha. This may be 
as ornate or as simple as required. 

Tantrik Ritual - Puja 

Those who worship with the object of attaining a particular reward gain such 
reward which (however) is as destructible as a kingdom acquired in a dream. 
Those, however, who rightly act without hope of reward attain nirvana and are 
released from rebirth - Mahanirvana Tantra, XIII, 41 (Avalon) 

Outer Worship (bahiryaga) 

Puja (worship) can take many forms and is but one aspect of the tradition. It can 
be either performed externally or internally. A tantrik may perform daily puja to 
her or his particular devata and this can be a beautiful rite involving all the 

The daily puja, whatever the favoured deity, includes worship of the Sun, Lord 
Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu and Ganesha. For details see Shri Puja and Subhagodaya 
on this site. The main concept in puja is that the god or goddess are considered 


to be actually present in the yantra or image used and are given worship and 
treated as honoured guests. All recitation, mudras and ritual elements are given 
to her/him. Yet she/he is one with the worshipper, not separate. 

Various ritual accessories (upachara) are used in the daily ceremony, with the 16 
principal items being asana (seat), svagata (welcome), padya (water for washing 
feet), arghya (rice, flowers, sandal paste, etc), achamana (sipping water), 
madhuparka (honey, ghee, milk, curd), snana (bathing), vasana (clothes), 
abharana (gems), gandha (perfume and sandal), pushpa (flowers), dhupa 
(incense stick), dipa (flame), naivedya (food) and namaskar (prayer). These may 
be multiplied up, depending on the devata. However, despite differences, all 
daily pujas follow a very similar pattern. 

Other of the many elements in daily puja include meditation and recitation of the 
particular mantra of the devata, as well as worship of the Guru, considered to be 
one with Shiva. 

Other types of worship include optional pujas (kamya), usually performed for 
some particular object. According to the tradition, these may only be performed 
if daily puja is also done. 

In the Kaulachara division of tantrika, the puja may take the form of 
worshipping a living human being as incarnating the god/goddess. See 
Virasadhana for more information. 

Some tantriks also perform their own form of the Vedik homa sacrifice, with 
particular shaped fire-pits for the sacrifice. 

There are other important components in the daily puja, such as the Gayatri. 
There are tantrik as well as vedik gayatris. 

The mala or rosary is used in reciting the mantra of the deity. In nyasa or 
placing, the rites transform the body of the worshipper into mantra and devata. 
View Yantra. There are many examples of yantras on this site. But turn here for 
information on materials as well as an example of 'installing life' into a yantra. 

When a sadhaka (m) or sadhvini (f) realises his or her oneness with the devata, 
there is no need for external puja, which can be considered a method of realising 
that oneness. 


Inner Worship (antaryaga) 

As with so many other aspects of the tantrik tradition, there is a gross, a subtle 
and a supreme aspect to worship. External puja, using either an image or another 
object such as a yantra or a lingam, is a dualistic form intended, however, to lead 
the sadhaka to the recognition that there is no difference between worshipper 
and the worshipped. 

After a certain stage, outer worship may no longer be necessary, or may be 
further complemented with inner worship. Here, for example, offerings to the 
favoured god or goddess (the isthadevata), may be in the form of offering the 
senses and the other elements and functions of the human body, all taken here to 
represent shaktis. 

This is also combined with meditation and contemplation of the essential 
oneness of worshipper and worshipped, and may include other elements of the 
outer worship including recitation of the mantra (J a P a )- 

In fact, the external puja points to the internal worship. The different nyasas, 
mudras (hand gestures) and other paraphernalia is intended to produce that 
feeling of oneness in the sadhaka or sadhika. The tantras proclaim the unity of 
macrocosm with microcosm. 

According to the Tantrarajatantra, supreme worship is when the mind, which 
both accepts and rejects, dissolves into the still, deep source. 

Sexuality in the Tantrik tradition 

Maheshani, meditate as being absorbed in the yoni cakra, with yoni on the 
tongue, yoni in the mind, yoni in the ears and yoni in the eyes. Mighty Lady, all 
sadhana is vain unless with the yoni. Therefore, reject other puj as and do Yoni 
Puja. Maheshani, there is no siddhi without devotion to the Guru 

- Yoni Tantra, X 

The Tantrik tradition has come to be viewed as synonymous in the West with 
sexuality. And, to some extent, that's the case in Asia too, mostly because of the 
pervasive influence of Western education. What is the truth? 

The Web pages on this site cover a multitude of different subjects and this 
reflects the tantrik tradition which spans a huge range of topics. 


Many interested in the topic, however, think tantra is equivalent to sex and focus 
on one specific rite, particular to the Kaula and Vamachara schools of tantra, 
and on the "five things", the so-called Panchamakara, including sexual 
intercourse, that are part of it. Vatsyayana's Kama Sutra, for instance, has little 
or nothing to do with the tantrik tradition but it is true that prior to the Muslim 
and Christian invasions of the sub-continent, the culture had a healthy interest in 
sexuality and also had the sensual language of Sanskrit to express it. 

The first inconvenient point about the tantrik tradition is that in the 
overwhelming majority of texts, it is demanded that a practitioner be initiated by 
a guru (female or male), who belongs to a lineage or sampradaya. If someone 
practises tantrik rites, uses a mantra or yantra from books, without being 
competent (adhikara), not only is there no success, but, on the contrary, he or 
she is cursed by the goddess. Or so the texts say. 

"Beguiled by false knowledge as propagated, certain persons, deprived of the 
guru-shishya tradition, imagine the nature of the Kuladharma according to their 
own intellect. If merely by drinking wine, men were to attain fulfilment, all 
addicted to liquor would reach perfection. If mere partaking of flesh were to lead 
to the high state, all the carnivores in the world would become eligible to 
immense merit. If liberation were to be ensured by sexual intercourse with a 
shakti, all creatures would become liberated by female companionship." 
{Kularnava Tantra, II, 116- 118). 

The possibility exists that it was comparatively late that the tantrik schools went 
"underground". Judging from texts like the Kalika Purana, it seems that tantrik 
sexuality was a part of everyday life. 

The panchamakara (five "m"s) are maithuna (intercourse), madya (liquor), 
mudra (bean), mamsa (flesh) and matsya (fish). They form part of a rite 
performed by those of the class called Viras (heroes). According to the tradition, 
practitioners fall into three classes: divya (divine), vira (heroic) and pashu 

Yet the vira, or heroic sadhana, is only a part of the Kaula tradition and, if we 
believe the texts themselves, is only for a certain category of practitioners 
(sadhakas (m) and sadhvinis (f)) who can benefit from it. It is prohibited for the 
pashu, who is likely to misunderstand both it and its inner significance on a 
superficial level. For those not competent to practise this rite, it is poisonous. 

Further, tantrik groups which do not fall into the Kulachara or Vamachara 
divisions, do not drink wine or use sex in a ritual context. Some may substitute 


ginger for flesh, milk for wine and the symbolic union of two flowers for 

The influential Kaulavali Nirnaya Tantra, a digest of many of the greatest of the 
Kaula tantras, says that drinking is either divya, vira or pashu. The first is the 
realisation that the Goddess as wine-nectar is within, the second uses alcohol, 
while for the pashu it is prohibited as it is done without understanding. To a vira 
who wants to be liberated, ordinary prohibitions do not apply. Wine is Shakti 
and flesh is Shiva. 

And the Kularnava Tantra says that the divine person, or divya, realises that 
wine flows from the 1,000 petal lotus, flesh is the sense of duality, fish is the 
disordering of the senses and sexual intercourse is the union of Kundalini with 
supreme Shiva. Indeed, the commentary to the famous Karpuradistotra goes 
further and says that true sexual intercourse is union with the goddess within. 
Intercourse with any other woman is adultery. That may be true for the divya, 
but not for the vira. (See Vira Sadhana) 

These considerations make it clear that far from tantra being synonymous with 
sex, sexuality is a part of the sadhana (work on oneself) and the tradition, and 
then, perhaps, only at a certain stage and for a certain time. 


The Vira Sadhana 

As is the competency of the sadhaka (male practitioner) so also that of the 
sadhika (female practitioner). Only by this is success achieved and not in any 
other way, even in ten million years - Mahakalasamhita, quoted in Shakti and 
Shakta, Woodroffe 

(This English translation of 
chapter 13 from the Brihad 
Nila Tantra covers 
meditation and the vira 
sadhana (heroic worship, 
which includes sexual 
intercourse) of Mahakali. It 
also outlines the principles 
of svecchacharya (the path 
of acting according to one's 
will) which is central to the 
Kaula school of tantra.) 

Sri Bhairava said: Now I 
speak of the supreme 
mantra of Mahakali, 
bestowing all poesy. Listen 
attentively, O Maheshani. 
She is the primordial one, 
Prakriti, the beautiful 
woman, the primordial 
knower, with kalas, the 
Fourth, the ultimate mother, 
the boon giver, the 
desirable one, the lady of heroes, the giver of success to sadhakas. 

She, the primordial one, Mahaprakriti, Kali, the true form of time, whose great 
mantra of all mantras is the ocean of mantra, she alone gives all success to a 
sadhaka who wants it. The destroyer of anxiety, giving boons, seated on a 
corpse, gives all desires, O Devi, and creates all marvels. 

In this matter, purification of mind and determination as to defects or enmity in 
a mantra are unnecessary. In sadhana with this great mantra, there are no 
restrictions as to time, nor day, lunar mansion or obstacles caused by lunar 


mansions and so forth. Nor in Mahakali's sadhana is it necessary to consider 

Listen, Vararoha, to the all-poesy bestowing mantra. Two Hrims and two Hums, 
followed by three Krims and Dakshine Kalike, then pronouncing the previous 
bija mantras in reverse order, putting in front of it Om and Svaha last, is the 
mantra of twenty three syllables, the ultimately beautiful mantra. Using this king 
of mantras causes a person to become like Shiva, there is no doubt of it. 

Bhairava is the rishi of the mantra, Ushnik is the metre, Mahakali is the Devi 
and Hrim is the seed. Hum is the Shakti and its application is well known. 
Vararohe, listen to the meditation. Reciting it gives siddhi, its practice gives the 
power of attraction, and it causes pashus to become viras. 

I worship the greatly beautiful one, with limbs the colour of thunderclouds, who 
is naked and sits on the corpse of Shiva, who has three eyes and earrings made 
of the bones of two young handsome boys, who is garlanded with skulls and 
flowers. In her lower left and upper right hands she holds a man's head and a 
sword, her other two hands bestowing boons and banishing fear. Her hair is 
greatly dishevelled. Using this meditation, worship and satisfy the Paramesvari. 

Listen, beauteous one, to the Gayatri, which gives all knowledge when recited. 
Saying Kalikayai and vidmahe, then say shmashanavasinyai dhimahi, and then 
tanno ghore pracodayat. Devi, after reciting it twenty times, it is the giver of all 
prosperity. Recite it 20,000 times to achieve success in its preparation. Do homa 
of a tenth part, oblation of a tenth part of that, and abhiseka of a tenth part of 
that. Then feed Brahmanas. Do everything necessary within the sadhana, then 
dismiss Devi and throw the pot into water. 

I speak now of the great ritual which bestows both the visible and the invisible. 
Mantras become successful using this rite, which is to be performed in the first 
or third watch at night, and are powerless otherwise. 

O Mahesvari, do vira sadhana in a house, or elsewhere on earth. Make a small 
platform strewn with bunches of plantain leaves and place on this a pot smeared 
with vermilion. In the pot place mango shoots and wine made of khadira 
blossoms, as well as asvattha and badari leaves. Also place in the pot pearl, gold, 
silver, coral and crystal and then strive to accomplish vira sadhana. 

Draw a matrika cakra, placing the pot on top of it. A mantrin should put it on a 
cloth, facing the northern direction. After worshipping with various substances, 
one should offer food, unguent, mutton and the most attractive sorts of food. 
Then, O Devi, offer curd to the great goddess. 


Have there a young and beautiful girl, adorned with various jewels. After 
combing her hair, give her tambula and draw two Hrims on her breasts, Aim on 
or near her mouth, and draw two Klims on either side of her yoni. Drawing her 
towards you by her hair, caress her breasts and then place the linga into her yoni 

O pure smiling one. Recite the mantra 1,000 times, O sweet faced one. Dearest, 
one becomes accomplished by doing the rite for a week. Maheshani, recite the 
mantra not in the manner written of in books, but in her yoni. This brings mantra 
siddhi, there is no doubt of it. So, Devi, the secret thing giving all desires has 
been declared to you. One should not reveal it, one should never reveal it, 

O Naganandini, at the risk of your life, never reveal it. It is the giver of all 
siddhi. I cannot speak of the magnificence of this mantra. Had I ten thousand 
million mouths and ten thousand million tongues, I could still not speak of it, O 

It is the most secret thing in the three worlds, very hard to obtain, the great pitha 
Kamarupa, giving the fruit of all desires. Maheshani, reciting in this way gives 
endless fruit, if, by the power of good fortune one attains this pitha. O 
Maheshani, after reciting the mantra there, it gives endless fruit. Bhairavi, siddhi 
resides in that high place (described in) this tantra, without doubt. 


Ecstasy, Equipoise and Eternity 

A Dreamtime File for those who want to do their own thing but do it 
themselves: "The Palace of both Liberation and Enjoyment." 

Nathamandalasahajamarga — which 
means the Path of Ecstasy of the 
Nath Circle - which in Europe and 
the Americas is called "The Arcane 
and Magickal Order Of the Knights 
of Shambhala" (The word Knights 
being a collective for the Lords and 

Between the years 1532 and 1534 
A.D., Francois Rabelais, the French 
novelist and humorist, produced the 
satirical masterpiece of Gargantua 
and Pantagruel. The books 
themselves are fantastic but the real 
miracle of the author's life was that 
he was never burnt at the stake. In 
his very humorous way; and 
probably with a smile, he did more 
to rock the power of the church than any other man of his period. He introduced 
to his public an imanginary Abbey of Thelema, a monastic institution which had 
inscribed over the entrance doorway the conclusive injunction "Do what thou 
wilt shall be the only law." This rule, it appears, was piously obeyed by the 
resident monks and nuns. 

Many years later, Sir Francis Dashwood revived the Abbey and its delightful 
law in the grounds of his country residence not far from London. John Wilkes, a 
fiery radical parliamentarian, was one of the chief and most active members. 
This Abbey is now a local tourist attraction. 

In more recent history Aleister Crowley, who did so much to revive and reform 
the Western Occult tradition, in reverence to the Rabelaisian masterpiece, also 
revived the Thelemic Law and even, for a short period, established an Abbey on 
an Italian island. 

"Do what thou wilt shall be the only law." has always been an injunction which 
strikes fear and terror in the hearts of the moralists, ministers and mini-minds. 


Yet millions have practised it and passed by unnoticed. It may be new to those 
who read this MS but the identical rule of law has been held in the highest 
respect in India and neighbouring lands for thousands of years. It has been the 
amoral philosophy of the Nathas, Tantriks and Siddha saints and sadhus. It made 
possible the Parivrajaka or homeless wanderer saints and eventually to the 
highest grade of Indian spiritual attainment known as the Avadhoota or 
emancipated one. Thus Rabelais, Dashwood and Crowley must share the honour 
of perpetuating what has been such an high ideal in most of Asia. 

Now that the Natha tradition has been reborn in Europe and the Americas we 
must know a little more about the amoral patterns of the Nathas. 

The Nathas as a sect and organized body of people came into being as an answer 
to two separate events. One was the invasion of India by the Muslims and the 
destruction of holy places and second, which actually occurred much earlier, 
was the spread of Shankaracharya doctrine of Mayavada, that all and everything 
was an illusion and only God was Real. 

About 1000 A.D. a great teacher came to the fore. He was the son of Minanath, 
a fisherman and was known as Matsyendranatha. This great saint of humble 
origin is considered to be the founder of the Nath Order of Sadhus. Actually he 
gave it substance for Nathas had been known much earlier. He combined the 
three viewpoints of Siddha, Tantrik and Natha philosophy in a great sweeping 
revival of the ancient teachings, that although God was one there were also 
many manifestations of God and these included the world and human beings 

Though God is One we also live in the dual form of many. Though much of life 
can be an illusion there are many occasions when pain, suffering and hunger 
bring us down to reality because they are real also. 

But the greatest concept of the Nathas was to free mind and body from Karmas, 
Kleshas and Konditioning and break forever the chain of rebirth into the world. 
Thus to end Samsara and free the Spirit of Real Self to its natural condition of 
peace, freedom and happiness. Matsyendranatha was followed by a brilliant 
disciple who developed the Natha Order and outshone his Guru. He was 
Gorakhnath, a weaver who came from a caste of cowboys. 

We must be technical, but only for a moment, to examine the Sanskrit terms 
which are related to the Nathas so that we can translate them into creative 
thought. A knowledge of the Sanskrit language (now a dead language anyway) 
is not necessary either for the Concord of Cosmic People nor for the Sanctum of 


Nathas, known as the AMOOKOS. These are given, not so we can learn 
Sanskrit words but so that we can understand the meaning and deeper concepts 
to translate into our own mother tongue and into our own valid patterns of life. 

First let us see the Thelemic Law in terms of Hinduism and Sanskrit: 

Sveccha means one's own wish or free will. 

Svecchachara means a way of life where one acts as one wishes and doing what 
is right in one's own eyes. Doing one's own Will. 

The concluding Sanskrit expression in the Avadhoota Upanishad is 
Svecchaparo. The term Paro means a mysterious or secret pattern to the action 
done by one's own Will but with discretion, not making it too obvious or to 
harm or hurt other people. Yet this is also a typical Nathism as a complete 
reversal of Vedic Morals and Philosophy 

This combined attitude towards people and one's own Will is clearly expressed 
by Shri Datta in the Avadhoota Upanishad, where he is made to say: 

"What I actually wanted to do is exactly what I did. What I wished for, I 
received, and this always happens. No matter what I do, whether it is that 
ordained by Scripture or by customs, or that which is natural and not restrained, 
are my own inhibitions or feelings." 

Yet, although I do not wish for it, I may follow Spiritual patterns prescribed by 
scripture, but I Do this for the benefit of humanity (not wishing to 
Confuse them). What can this possibly matter to me? 

Thus, the concluding lines of the Upanishads end with the expression 
Svecchaparo. Since the Avadhoot who has evolved to the highest level never 
forgets that all people are not the same as himself he uses some discretion for 
their sake and also because those acts fit for him may also involve him in 
worldly conflict. 

There are still many Natha orders and numerous sub sects in India today Some 
of them are still numerically strong, but others, for a variety of reasons, have 
become tiny exclusive In-groups. Some have degenerated to the level of holy 
beggars who know and understand nothing but collecting. Most of the higher 
strata Nathas belonged to the North but in the South West they have evolved 
into purely devotional cults, worshipping Shri Datta as a benevolent god and not 
as a far-out exceptional teacher. The original revolt against Vedic Brahminism 


with its bogus morality is forgotten. Also the basic battle for spiritual life as 
opposed to civilization, urbanization and religious superstitions has also 

Samsara: What are we getting away from? The ceaseless round of births and 
death, transmigration but also meaning "worldly life" and the mundane process 
from birth to death, household or secular life as opposed to spiritual renunciation 
of the world. Sometimes used to mean "The Ocean of life" or the "Wheel of 
Rebirths." Samsara is the bondage which binds us to worldly involvement and 
the worldly involvements perpetuate it. Spiritual life aims at breaking the chain 
and ending the rebirth process but religions, such as Hindu sects, only promise 
an escape to heaven. But this is recognized as temporary and when that span of 
existence has finished Samsara starts again. 

Natha: Means Lord, Protector, a Refuge. It becomes Lady by giving the 
feminine ending Natha but female Natha Sadhvinis have always been rare in 
India. Usually they occur as Yogini or Devi. In India also Nathas do not marry 
live in household life or breed children. They do not practice sex abnegation and 
usually have a female partner. A Western Nath Order would not find it practical 
to follow the same patterns, as the free wandering life of a saint is not possible 
and Western Nathas will be householders, married, and even have regular 
employment for wages. This in no way affects the life of Nathas in India. 

Environment, climate and social patterns must be taken into consideration in any 
transfer of Eastern cults into the West. It is the free spiritual and amoral patterns 
which most matter and not the external forms. Nor would it be possible for 
Western Nathas to wander about naked or wearing only a G-string or Longoti. 
The word Natha is very very ancient and used in former times for any saint or 
sadhu but after the amalgamation of Siddhas (Magicians - accomplished - 
attained) and the Tantriks into one order the word came only to be confined to 
them. The Nathas, East and West, will however do as they will to retain their 
Order and unity. Natha is related to Nithan (Gothic) and Ginatha (Anglo Saxon). 

Three words in Sanskrit express the essence of the Natha Way of Life. 

Sama: The same, equal, corresponding, balance, equipoise. 

Samarasa: Equipoise in feelings, nondiscrimination, the mind at rest. 

Sahaja: Natural joy, Amoral, Elevating all worldly things to a divine status. To 
dissolve natural senses into divine expression. 


These three words express the attainment of the Avadhoota or an emancipated 
one. The full expression of "Do what you will." Thus one who becomes a Natha 
or Nath does not remain content to wear it round their neck like a label or think 
of it as just something they belong to but try to strive for the higher attainments 
(Siddhas), practice the rites, ritual and yoga, and teach others the way out of 
Samsara. We are creating something new for our people and building a new 
fantastic Kingdom of Shambhala. These will not be done without sincerity, and 
right forms of activity. Samsara need not be all misery and suffering if we seek 
and understand the use of the natural joys which it offers us and use them to 
purify the mind and awaken to immortality. 

While it is true the Indian Siddhas, Nathas and Tantrik Yogis renounced the 
world for the higher attainments and immortality, while they remained in the 
world they felt it a duty to try and help others onto the same path. But this is not 
for everyone and it was important so that people obtained some Punya, merit in 
this life and the future so as to escape from Samsara in only one or two lives. To 
do this the Nathas encouraged better social organization based on good will and 
mutual aid and gave new life to the ancient cohesion of the Hindu people by 
encouraging the rituals, worship and guru grace and also instruction. The rituals 
must not be neglected and if they had deep meaning to the individual, so much 
the better. 

It is said that the Nath Order in its recent and present Indian form was founded 
Shri Matsyendranatha. He was the son of Minanath a fisherman. 
Matsyendranatha's disciple was Gorakhnath. (Another figure was 
Jalandharanath... MM.) The name means a water bearer or carrier but he was 
employed as a sweeper. (There is a line missing from the original manuscript 
here which I have not been able to reconstruct to date, MM.) These very names 
of spiritual leaders were a blow to the Vedic Brahmin caste system. 

The Nathas spread rapidly and enjoyed vast public support. The tradition of the 
Natha with magick powers still persists even in the chaos of today They never at 
any time gave the impression of puritanical piety They wore varied dress, 
carried trishules (tridents), fire tongs and huge earrings. They wore the hair long 
and marked the body, especially the forehead, with ashes. Some were naked; 
none cared if they were dressed or not. Some wore an orange cloth, some red 
and (as in the case of my own sub sect) black. I did not like black and only wore 
it on odd occasions. Few Naths and Yogis followed fixed rules and customs. 

There is every reason to believe that the early Naths were associated with the 
worship of the Mother Goddess, but a bipolar worship in which Shiva played a 
large part. The physical appearance of most Naths was similar to the accepted 


ideas of what Shiva looked like. They all accepted the ideal of the Avadhoot and 
regarded Shri Dattatreya as a cult Guru and even as a guardian spirit. Only later 
when the Nathas of S.W India developed into bhakti- devotional cults was he 
elevated to the status of a god. Also, in many of these cases, although Datta was 
thought of as an avatar or manifestation of Shiva, he later became regarded as an 
avatar of Vishnu, but this was probably due to some thoughtless acceptance of 
Vedic influence. The real Nathas of India today still belong to the North. Even 
the Pagal (Mad) Naths, so called because of their outrageous and erratic 

History cannot obscure the fact that the rise of the Tantriks, Siddhas and Nathas 
in India was not only a revolt against puritanical, straight-faced Vedic and 
Buddhist morals but it placed an even greater emphasis on the fact that spiritual 
attainments began with the awakening of the insight faculty and had nothing to 
do with caste, education or social status. This came at a time when real Pagan 
values were being forgotten and the antisex syndrome was creeping in from 
Europe and missionaries. Added to this was the Muslim aversion to naked 
images and sex symbols such as the lingam and yoni. 

Most of the great Nathas of the past and present came from the lower strata of 
society but they were all people who upheld the dignity of their own class even 
if it were classified as lower. One great Nath came from a caste of snake 
charmers, a caste which considered it beneath their dignity to beg, in spite of 
their poverty Fishermen, sweepers and weavers were poor enough but they 
worked and maintained themselves and their families. As in Europe, all too 
often, they were better and nobler people than you found in the upper crust. 

Yet when they became Nathas they became nobodies, but free and 
unconditioned. They belonged to nobody and nobody belonged to them. Mostly 
they wandered. They did not work or marry or breed children. They no longer 
worked for reward or served others as menials. If they served others it was 
without obligation or reward. Although a sadhu depends on the alms of the 
faithful he never asks for anything. Of course in the Indian subcontinent these 
things are part of the way of life and understood. In nearly thirty years in India 
and adjoining parts of Asia I have never lacked food, clothing, shelter or 
medical care. These are needs and not wants. In Europe it would not be possible 
to do this from scratch. But as life has been adapted in India so Europe and 
America must make their own patterns. 


Kali Tradition 

Shri Durga Devi 

All ways of knowledge are your 
aspects, O Devi; so are all women 
in the world, endowed with various 
attributes. By you alone, O 
Mother, this world is filled - 
Chandi, II, 6 

Durga's story appears primarily in 

the Skanda Purana, in Chandi, 

itself a part of the Markandeya 

Purana, but very similar stories are 

told in the Brahmanda Purana and 

also in the famous epic, the 

Mahabharata. She also appears 

elsewhere in tantrik texts, 

including as Mahishamardini 

(killer of the demon Mahisha) in the Kulachudamani Tantra. The gods lost their 

empire to two great antigods (asuras), Shumbha and Nishumbha, and prayed to 

the Goddess for help. 

Needless to say, the ever compassionate Devi took on these proud antigods and 
vanquished them utterly. To this end, she assembled an entire army of Shaktis 
similar to her and when things became very tough, projected Kalika out of her 
third eye. She is called Durga because she slayed the son of the arch-demon 
Durga, son of Rum. 

As the Matrikabheda Tantra points out, the names of the goddess are really 
adjectives, and she is one, under these different descriptions. For example, the 
goddess in Chandi takes the forms of Kali, Sarasvati and Vaishnavi, 
representing the three gunas, to subdue the host of demons. 

As Lalita, she subdued the demonic Bhandasura at the request of the gods, who 
then built the Shri Yantra to celebrate her greatness. 

The metaphor is that she is cruel to the demonic; that is to say to the proud ego 
of man. 

The hymn to Durga in the Mahabharata contains the verses (shlokas): 


"I salute Thee, leader of Yogis, one with the Brahman, 

Dweller in the Mandara forest. 

Virgin, Kali, spouse of Kapala, of tawny hue. 

Salutation to Thee, Bhadrakali. 

Reverence to Thee, Mahakali, 

Chandi, Fearless one. Salutation to Thee, 

Saviour imbued with all good fortune." 

(Arthur Avalon's translation in "Hymns to the Goddess".) 

So, too, in the Karpuradistotra, a famous twenty-two verse hymn to Dakshina 
Kalika, we find the commentator describing the animal sacrifice of cats, camels, 
sheep, buffaloes, goats and men as symbolising six vices. 

Shri Guhyakali Devi 

Ha-Sa is the pathway breath takes in living creatures. This mantra exists in the 
form of exhalation and inhalation, dearest one. Just as clouds cannot exist 
without wind, and just as the sky is without limit, so the world cannot exist 
except by (this) Shri Paraprasada mantra. The world of immovable and moving 
things comes from the Shri Paraprasada mantra - Kularnavatantra III 

The Devi Kali has many forms. Kashmir Shaivism speaks of twelve Kalis, while 
in other parts of India she is and was worshipped as Mahakali, Dakshina Kalika, 
Shmashanakali, Bhadrakali, Kamakali, and Guhyakali, amongst many others. 

The Guhyakalika section (khanda) of Mahakalasamhita is a voluminous work, 
comprising many thousands of shlokas (verses) and with Guhyakalika (Secret 
Kalika) as its focus. But the work also covers a number of other tantrik topics in 
equally great detail, and along the way also includes subjects rarely referred to 
in other published tantras. 

The work follows the usual tantrik formula, with Mahakala answering questions 
posed to him by his spouse, Kali. 

Mahakala opens the Guhyakali section of the Mahakalasamhita by saying he 
will reveal the mantra, yantras, meditation forms (dhyana and rules of worship 
relating to Guhyakali, which, he says, have been previously hidden. There are 
eighteen Guhyakali mantras, he says. 

Guhyakali, he says, has forms with 100, 60, 36, 30, 20, 10, five, three, two and 
one faces. Different mantras correspond to these different forms, which he then 


reveals, using the usual codes for the different letters of the Sanskrit alphabet 
employed in other tantras. 

Mahakala starts to talk about Guhyakali when she is on her lion seat 
(simhasana), and gives meditations for the guardians of the directions (dikpala), 
and the five great corpses, forms of Shiva, upon which she sits. There is a sixth 
pitha, Bhairava. He is described as black in colour, with four arms, terrifying 
and the cause of fear. He has five faces, each with three eyes. In his left hands he 
holds a skull staff khatvanga and scissors, and in his right a skull and the 
hourglass shaped damaru. He is adorned with a garland of skulls, and is fanged. 
Lying, on an eight petalled lotus above Bhairava is a two-armed form of Shiva, 
clothed in tiger skin and holding a skull-staff and a trident. The four petals of the 
major directions represent dharma (duty), jnana (knowledge), vairagya 
(dispassion) and aishvarya (dominion). 

The 10-faced form of Guhyakali is then described. She has 27 eyes, with some 
faces having two, and other three, eyes. Each of her faces represents a different 
female animal aspect of Guhyakali and is of a different hue. For example, her 
upper face is called Dvipika (a leopard or possibly a panther), then comes 
Keshari (a lion) which is white, Pheru ( jackal) which is black, then Vanara (a 
monkey) which is red, Riksha (a bear) which is purple, Nara (a woman) which is 
of a cochineal colour, Garuda which tawny, Makara (a crocodile) which is 
turmeric colour (yellow), Gaja (elephant) which is of a golden colour, and Hay a 
(horse) which is of a dark or dusky (shyama) colour. 

The human face is on Guhyakali' s shoulders. To the left of that face is the 
crocodile, above that the horse and above that the bear. To the right of her face 
is the Garuda, the elephant, and the monkey. On the top of her head is the 
monkey face, above that the lioness face, and above that the leopardess. 

Guhyakali's human face has great, fierce sharp fangs, she laughs very loudly, 
while streams of blood pour from her mouth. She has a rolling tongue and is 
adorned with garlands of skulls, with earrings also of skulls. The mother of the 
universe (jagadambika) has 54 arms each of which holds a weapon. Her right 
hands hold a jewelled rosary, a skull, a shield, a noose, a shakti missile, a skull- 
staff, a bhushundi weapon, a bow, a discus, a bell, a young corpse, a mongoose 
(?), a rock, a man's skeleton, a bamboo stave, a serpent, a plough, a fire hearth, a 
damaru, an iron mace, a small spear (bhindipala — it could mean a sling), a 
hammer, a spear, a barbed hook, a club studded with metal nails (shataghni). 
Her right hands hold a jewelled rosary, scissors, make the gestures (mudra) of 
threatening, a goad, a danda, a jewelled pot, a trident, five arrows and so forth. 


In the same work there is a nyasa specifically for the 10 faces of this form of the 
goddess. Here, the faces are related to the 1,000 petalled lotus, the mouth, the 
right eye, the left eye, the right nostril, the left nostril, the right cheek, the left 
cheek, the right ear and the left ear. 

Guhyakali has three major forms, corresponding to creation, maintenance and 
destruction, a little like a very much darker form of Tripurasundari. 

Chapter five of the Guhyakalikhanda describes 18 yantras of the Devi, 
corresponding to the 18 separate mantras mentioned earlier. 

The first consists of a bindu, a triangle, a hexagon, a pentagon, a circle, 16 
petals, eight petals and four doors, adorned with tridents and skulls. This relates 
to Guhyakali's one letter mantra, which is Phrem (see above left). 

Guhyakali dwells within the centre of eight cremation grounds (shmashans), 
whose names are Mahaghora, Kaladanda, Jvalakula, Chandapasha, Kapalika, 
Dhumakula, Bhimangara, and Bhutanatha. Her worship honours the Vetalas 
(vampires), eight tridents, vajras, jackals and corpses, Bhairavas, dakinis, 
Chamundas, Kshetrapalas, Ganapatis and other denizens of the cremation 

Hamsah Shodha Upanishad 

That self of the nature of food is pervaded by the self of the nature of vital 
energy; similarly the self of vital energy is by nature pervaded by the self of the 
nature of mind - - Katharudropanishad, 24 

As we've pointed out elsewhere in these pages, there is a multitude of small texts 
describing themselves as Upanishads which nevertheless deal with entirely 
tantrik themes. 

Whether this is because different schools of tantras were seeking scriptural and 
ancient authorities for their views is difficult to say, but, very often these so- 
called "Upanishads" do give a useful short precis of the views of particular 

That's the case with this particular text below, which describes a nyasa by which 
a devotee is said to assume the body or nature of Kali. 

The rishi or seer of this piece is Virupaksha Mahakala, perhaps connected with 
the famous Virupaksha temple in Vijayanagar - a temple that, for some reason, 


or other survived the ravages of the 3,000 other temples and is still active today. 
The mantras and matrikas described below use the iTrans method of 

Hamsah Shodha Upanishad 

Now the Hamsa six fold nyasa by which (devotees) become Shiva, become the 
lord of all siddhi. Even Sadashiva is not entitled to the fruit of this. 

Of this six fold nyasa Virupaksha Mahakala is the seer. Anushtub is the metre. 
Kali is the devata. The object of its application is the body of Kali. By the six 
limb Hamsa (nyasa) he becomes of the nature of Nirvana. 

Ha.msaH ka.m kha.m ga.m -na.m - bearer of the great rosary of skulls, beloved 
of Mahakala, protect, protect me ! 

Dwelling in the six chakras, the lady of speech, dwell on the tip of my tongue! 

Ha.m namaH on the head. He becomes Shiva. 

Ha.msaH cha.m Cha.m ja.m jha.m Na.m Mahatripurabhairavi, bearer of the 
book and the rosary of aksha seeds, paralyser of the face of the enemy, do it! Do 
it! SvAhA. This in the great lotus. 

Ha.msaH Tarn Tha.m Da.m Dha.m Na.m DA.m Dl.m Da.m Dakini, protect, 
protect me ! SvAhA. This (the devotee) should place in the Anahata. He becomes 
the third form. 

Ha.msaH Ta.m Tha.m Da.m Nam, great goddess of death, destroying death, 
HU.m HU.m, destroy! Destroy poverty! SvAhA. He should place Gu.m/ He 
becomes Brahma Kali. He attains the Fourth. 

Ha.msaH Pa.m Pha.m Ba.m Bha.m Ma.m, cat devi, heroic one, destroy! Destroy 
my idleness ! 

Ha.msaH Ya.m Ra.m La.m Va.m sha.m Sha.m Sa.m Ha - big bellied Devi, 
mother greatly fond of the auspicious, dissipate! Dissipate my dullness. Cause it 
to disappear! Cause it to disappear! 

Bhagavati, protect, protect me! Maintainer of the worlds, maintain, maintain me! 
SvAhA the two foot nyasa. He becomes Shiva. 

Now he should place the sixth. Ha.msaH La.m Ksha.m Mahalakshmi 
Rararajeshvari, Beloved of Mahakala, the devi who is all the parts of time, the 


Devi of kalas, break in pieces! Break in pieces! Kha.m Khl.m KhU.m Khai.m 
Kho.m Khau.m KhaH, the spade in earth, SvAhA. In all libs he should place 
that. He should do the 50 fold diffusion. Thus the Sixth. 

He becomes Shiva. He is worshipped by the Moon. He becomes detached. He 
becomes initiated in all. He becomes Amrita. He becomes all time. He does 
every nyasa. He gets knowledge even of the unknown. The duty he should do 
becomes done. He becomes lord of all siddhi. He becomes like Kali. So-aha.m 
Ha.msa, thus Bhagavan Sadashiva stitched this Veda. 

Shri Kalika Devi 

O Mother, even a dullard becomes a poet who meditates upon thee raimented 
with space, three-eyed, creatrix of the three worlds, whose waist is beautiful 
with a girdle made of numbers of dead men's arms, and who on the breast of a 
corpse, as thy couch in the cremation ground, enjoyest Mahakala - 
Karpuradistotra, VII (Woodroffe tr) 


Kali's paramount place of worship is in the cremation ground, preferably at the 
dead of night, on a suitable day of the waning Moon. Here, her nature becomes 
clear and apparent. For an adept in the worship, the whole world is a cremation 
ground, and She, the true form of time, who by herself creates and destroys all, 
is personified as the pyre. There, after life, all mortals and their wishes, dreams 
and reflections come to their fruition, a pile of worthless ashes. 

If you're a six year old child in the West and watch cartoons on TV, you have an 
idea who Kali is. She appears in various shows - almost invariably as an evil 
demoness who the badly animated superhero has to conquer. This is highly 
insulting to many Hindus, who regard her as the Absolute itself. 

Alone amongst all the tantrik deities, it is Kali who has captured the imagination 
of the West. But rather than reviled, she is revered by countless millions of 
people. Ramakrishna, the famous Indian sage and saint, was one of her 
devotees; Rabindranath Tagore another. It's no coincidence that both these great 
men came from Bengal, for it is there that she continues to receive oblations and 
offerings of flesh. Nevertheless, traces of her worship are found throughout 
India and former territories of India. 

Her bad reputation in the West probably sprang from her association with the 
cult of the Thuggees, forcefully suppressed by the British during the days of 
empire. The Thuggees - the word gave rise to our word thug - were actually 
Muslims who took the goddess Kali as their tutelary deity. They specialised in 
ensnaring and then robbing and murdering travellers. Originally, they were only 
supposed to attack male travellers and in their latter days attributed their 
downfall to the fact they had started to kill woman travellers too. 

But Kali pre-dates the Thuggees, quite possibly by several thousands of years. 
No one truly knows her origin. She does, however, have an uncanny and an 
ambiguous image. Modern pictures of her show her standing on the dead body 
of her consort Shiva, with four arms, a necklace of fifty human skulls, a girdle of 
human arms, holding an axe, a trident, a severed human head and a bowl of 
blood. Around her rages a battle - she herself is the colour of a thundercloud. 
Her protruding tongue drips with the fresh blood of her enemies. 

But this image is simply one of many, as we shall see. She is the goddess in her 
form as Dakshina Kalika - one of the most popular Bengali images of the 
goddess. Her guises are many, and include Bhadra (auspicious) Kali, Shmashana 
(cremation ground) Kali, Guhya (secret) Kali and a host of others. It is only in 
the great tantrik traditions that we find a clue to the real meaning of the 
gruesome images associated with Kalika. Although Hinduism was much reviled 


by early Western colonisers for its idolatry and pantheistic practices, this was a 
very narrow view. Tantrik texts repeatedly speak of the Devis or goddesses as 
being aspects of the one goddess. The same holds true for the male aspects. As 
individual humans all reflect the macrocosm, it's fair to describe the gods and 
goddesses of tantra as specialised aspects of ourselves - and, therefore, of life 

Yet life has its dark and its light sides. Death and love, in the tantrik tradition, 
are two sides of the same coin. As we look to the sky, we can see the Sun and 
Moon as symbols of male and female, of Shiva and Shakti. In the tantras, the 
Moon is often taken as a symbol of the Devi, whether in its dark or its bright 
fortnight. When She wanes, her images and her iconography become 
progressively more dark and fearsome. But when She waxes, so her images 
brighten. When she is full, She is Devi Tripura. Tripura is a name of the goddess 
meaning three cities. These allude to her own triple nature as a maiden (Bala) as 
a fecund woman (Tripura) and as a post-menstruating woman (Tripura 

Sir John Woodroffe (Arthur Avalon), writing in the Garland of Letters, says 
Kali is the deity in her aspect as withdrawing time into itself. "Kali is so called 
because She devours Kala (Time) and then resumes Her own dark 
formlessness." {Garland of Letters, page 235). Woodroffe says some have 
speculated that Kali was originally the Goddess of the Vindhya Hills, conquered 
by the Aryans. The necklace of skulls which makes up her image, he adds, are 
those of white people. Relying on the texts themselves, gives insight into the 
tantrik idea of Kali. In the Kulachudamani Tantra (KT), Lord Shiva asks 
questions answered by Devi, the goddess. It is, probably, one of the oldest 
tantras, according to Woodroffe, who published the Sanskrit text with an 
English introduction in his Tantrik Texts series. 

In eight short chapters, Devi expounds the essence of her worship, sometimes in 
most beautiful imagery. But the uncanny side of Kaula and Kali worship is 
dwelt on in great detail, with references to siddhis - magical powers - including 
a mysterious process where the tantrik adept leaves his body at night, apparently 
so he can engage in sexual intercourse with Shaktis. Animal sacrifice also has a 
place in this tantra. 

The siddhis play a large part in the worship of the uncanny goddess Kali. The 
main tantrik rites are called the six acts (shatkarma) of pacifying, subjugating, 
paralysing, obstructing, driving away, and death-dealing. But the KT includes 
others such as Parapurapraveshana, which is the power of reviving a corpse, 
although according to some it means the ability to enter another's living body; 


Anjana, an ointment which lets a sadhaka see through solid walls; Khadga 
which gives invulnerability to swords; Khecari, which gives the power of flying 
and Paduka Siddhi, magical sandals which take you great distances, rather like 
seven league boots. 

Certainly, the importance of having a suitable Shakti is important, according to 
the instructions Devi gives to Shiva. Devi here takes the form of 
Mahishamardini, more popularly known as Durga, who destroyed the two arch- 
demons Shumbha and Nishumbha in an epic battle between the goddess and the 
throng of demons. It was at this time, according to legend, that Durga created 
Kali, emanating her out of her third eye. 

We learn more of Durga's legends and myths from the Kalika Purana. The Devi, 
Mahamaya, appeared as Bhadra Kali - identical with Mahishamardini - in order 
to slay the demon Mahisha. He had fallen into a deep sleep on a mountain and 
had a terrible dream in which BhadraKali cut asunder his head with her sword 
and drank his blood. 

The demon started to worship Bhadra Kali and when Mahamaya appeared to 
him again in a later age to slaughter him again, he asked a boon of her. Devi 
replied that he could have his boon, and he asked her for the favour that he 
would never leave the service of her feet again. Devi replied that his boon was 
granted. "When you have been killed by me in the fight, O demon Mahisha, you 
shall never leave my feet, there is no doubt about it. In every place where 
worship of me takes place, there (will be worship) of you; as regards your body, 
O Danava, it is to be worshipped and meditated upon at the same time." 
(Kalakikapurana, ch.62, 107-108.) 

For this reason, the image of Mahishamardini always has her trampling the 
buffalo Mahisha. 

When She, the goddess, is dark, She is Devi Kalika, an equally high symbol of 
death and destruction. Throughout Her different manifestations and phases, She 
remains the one true goddess, Shakti, energy itself. She is symbolised by the 
yoni and the female cycle, which also shows waxing and waning throughout the 
month. Her spouse, Shiva, is symbolised by the Sun, by the phallus, by sperm, 
and as an emblem of consciousness without attributes. According to the tantrik 
phraseology "Only when Shiva is united with Shakti has Shiva power to act. 
Otherwise he is a corpse (shava)." 

Another black deity of the Indian sub-continent has a close connection with Kali 
- Krishna. According to the Kalivilasa Tantra, he was born from the golden 


goddess Gauri, who turned black after she was hit by an arrow from the Hindu 
cupid, Kama. 

Kali is Shakti, the great goddess, creating the three gunas: sattvas, rajas and 
tamas. The three gunas in their various permutation create all the fabric of the 
universe, including the five elements, skin, blood, etc.. 

These principles are the substance of she whose play (lila) is their modification. 
Kali is the first and foremost of the ten aspects of the goddess. She is pure 
sattvas, pure spirit. 

A sadhaka (male) or a sadhvika (female) can worship the goddess — the Devi — 
in any of ten forms for the fruition of desires. Her ten major forms are Kali, 
Tara, Shodasi, Bhuvaneshvari, Bhairavi, Chinnamasta, Dhumavati, Bagala, 
Matangi and Kamala. These aspects are known as the ten mahavidyas. 

To a sadhaka, to know these is to know the universe, as she is both space and 
time and beyond these categories. Each form has its own dhyana (meditation), 
yantra (diagram), mantra (sound form) and sadhana (actions). 

Mahavidya Kali is the primordial Devi who is the root of all the Great 
Knowledges (mahavidya). Worshipped by sadhakas and sadhvikas, her outer 
forms are fearful. She destroys time, is time, and is the night of eternity. 

Kali, certainly in the left hand tantrik tradition (vamachara), which is the path 
into Varna (woman and left) enters, is subject to much misunderstanding. The 
right hand path (dakshinachara) does not include the sexual component, while 
Vamachara allows sexual intercourse as part of her worship. 

According to Sir John Woodroffe, in his introduction to the Karpuradistotra, 
which is a 22 verse hymn on Dakshina Kalika, pashus - those of a base 
disposition, are forbidden to engage in sexual sadhana at night. "The Pashu is 
still bound by the pasha (bonds) of desire, etc., and he is, therefore, not adhikari 
for that which, if undertaken by the unfit, will only make these bonds stronger." 
Verse 10 of the Karpuradistotra spells out the practice. "If by night, Thy 
devotee unclothed, with dishevelled hair, recites whilst meditating on Thee, thy 
mantra, when with his Shakti youthful, full-breasted, and heavy-hipped such an 
one makes all powers subject to him and dwells on the earth ever a seer." 
Worship of Kali is for the hero (vira) or a person of a highly spiritual nature 

Kali's imagery is full of ambiguity, and this is deliberate on the part of the 
tantrik adepts who worshipped her. 


As an example, according to some texts, the Kali sadhana takes place on a 
Tuesday, at midnight, in the cremation ground. Here, surrounded by jackals, 
owls and other uncanny creatures of the night, the sadhaka and his Shakti select 
a newly dead male corpse, which should be, according to the texts, of a young 
man preferably a king, a hero or a warrior. If he has recently died in battle, so 
much the better. Placing the corpse face downwards, the two draw the 
Kaliyantra on his back, offer each other food, wine and other good things, and 
then commence the act of ritual sex. At the close of intercourse, the man offers 
his Shakti one of her public hairs smeared with his semen and, if she is 
menstruating, blood. 

Woodroffe says that the worship of Kali in the pashu mode is totally forbidden 
by Shiva, quoting the influential Niruttara Tantra as his source. "By the worship 
of Kali without Divyabhava and virabhava the worshipper suffers pain at every 
step and goes to hell. If a man who is of the Pashubhava worships Kali then he 
goes to the Raurava Hell until the time of final dissolution." 

As to the matter of a suitable Shakti for the sexual rites of Kali, the NT suggests 
that when a sadhaka has already achieved success with his own Shakti, he may 
then worship another woman. But Woodroffe says this other woman is the 
supreme Shakti in the sadhaka's own body. 

The cremation ground is often interpreted as the place where all desires are 
burnt away. Before realising kaivalya (liberation), the sadhaka must burn away 
all the taboos and conditionings which prevent this liberation. 

The cremation ground (shmashana) is also the supreme nadi or channel within 
the human organism - the sushumna — The central channel of bioenergy within 
the spine of a human being, the royal road of Kundalini. 

There the Devi or goddess is coiled up three and a half times at the base of the 
spine. When she unfolds and enters the sushumna, the bliss of this cosmic 
orgasm causes the universe to disappear. On the sadhaka within the shmashana 
yantra is Shakti, both entwined in close sexual embrace. She is the human form 
of Kali, as he is the human form of Shiva. Both are forever united. The Niruttara 
Tantra says (2, 27) "The cremation ground is of two kinds, O Devi, the pyre and 
the renowned yoni. Shiva is the phallus, Kuleshani! So Mahakala said." 
Questioned later by Shri Devi in the same tantra, Shiva says that the vagina is 
Dakshina herself, in the form of the three gunas, the essence of Brahma, Vishnu 
and Shiva. These three forms represent the powers of creation, maintenance and 
destruction. They have their Shakti counterparts. 


"When she has the semen of Shiva, she is Shiva-Shakti." (NT) 

The Karpuradistotra comments on animal sacrifice. Male creatures may only be 
sacrificed to Kali, else she becomes furious. Verse 19 says that worshippers of 
Kali who sacrifice the flesh of cats, camels, sheep, buffaloes, goats and men to 
her become accomplished. A commentary by a Kaula, Vimalananda Svami, 
which Woodroffe only partially translates, claims these animals represent the six 
enemies with the goat representing lust, the buffalo anger, the cat greed, the 
sheep delusion, the camel envy. Man represents pride. However, according to 
other sources, only a king may perform the sacrifice of a man. 

At the great temple of the Devi at Kamakhya in Assam, there is evidence that 
male human sacrifice was performed in the past. This site is renowned for Shakti 
worship because of a legend that Vishnu once cut the body of Shakti into 50 
pieces with his discus. These parts represent the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet 
and are pithas (pedestals = sacred sites) of Devi. The yoni of Shakti fell at this 
spot, making it the most sacred of all. 

Who, then, is Kali? Devi gives her own description in the Kulachudamani: "I am 
Great Nature, consciousness, bliss, the quintessence, devotedly praised. Where I 
am, there are no Brahma, Hara, Shambhu or other devas, nor is there creation, 
maintenance or dissolution. Where I am, there is no attachment, happiness, 
sadness, liberation, goodness, faith, atheism, guru or disciple. 

"When I, desiring creation, cover myself with my Maya (The great power of 
Shakti to delude all created things through Her play, ed.) and become triple and 
ecstatic in my wanton love play, I am Vikarini, giving rise to the various things. 

"The five elements and the 108 lingams arise, while Brahma and the other 
devas, the three worlds, Bhur-Bhuvah-Svah (the three worlds) spontaneously 
come into manifestation. 

"By mutual differences of Shiva and Shakti, the (three) gunas originate. All 
things, such as Brahma and so forth, are my parts, born from my being. Dividing 
and blending, the various tantras, mantras and kulas manifest. After withdrawing 
the five fold universe, I, Lalita, become of the nature of nirvana. Once more, 
men, great nature, egoism, the five elements, sattvas, rajas and tamas become 
manifested. This universe of parts appears and is then dissolved. 

"O All-Knowing One, if I am known, what need is there for revealed scriptures 
and sadhana? If I am unknown, what use for puja and revealed text? I am the 
essence of creation, manifested as woman, intoxicated with sexual desire, in 


order to know you as guru, you with whom I am one. Even given this, 
Mahadeva, my true nature still remains secret." 

The Yogini Tantra describes the goddess as the cosmic mother (Vishvamata), 
dark as a thunderstorm, wearing a garland and waistband of skulls, with 
dishevelled hair, completely naked (digambaram). 

She has a rolling tongue, makes a terrifying roar, three reddened eyes, and has a 
wide open mouth. She wears a moon digit on her forehead, has the corpses of 
two boys as her earrings, and is adorned with various gems, which are of the 
brightness of the Sun and the Moon. 

Laughing loudly, she has two streams of blood pouring from her mouth, while 
her throat is red with blood. In her four arms she holds cleaver, head, and makes 
mudras dispelling fears and granting boons. She, the supreme Nitya, is seated in 
reverse (viparita) intercourse with Mahakala upon the corpse of Shiva. The 
whole scene is set in the cremation ground. 

Yet, as with most other tantrik symbolism, the meaning of this cremation pyre 
operates on multiple levels. The pyre is also the yoni. Sir John Woodroffe 
(Arthur Avalon), says Kali is the deity in her aspect as withdrawing time into 
itself. "Kali is so called because She devours Kala (Time) and then resumes Her 
own dark formlessness." Garland of Letters , page 235. 

The Hundred Names of Kali 

O Devi, you are the measure and you measure. You are beyond measure and 
measurer. You are one in many forms. You are the form of the universe. I bow to 
you - Kaulavali Tantra. 

Here is the text and a translation of chapter 23 of the influential Brihadnila 
Tantra . If there are defects in my translation, I beg the indulgence of readers. 


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Patala 23. Shri Devi said: Before, O Deva, when engaged in amorous play,you 
mentioned the 100 names of Kali. Lord, speak of this to me. Shri Bhairava said: 
Well asked, Mahadevi, I will tell you of that previously untold. Vararohe 
Sundari, you should conceal it like your own yoni. [1-2] 

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Mohini, you who are as dear to me as life itself, I could not live for an instant 
without you, Parameshvari. [3] Like sight is inherent in the sun and as ghee is 
inherent in milk, so I, the Natha am everywhere present in you. [4] Listen Devi, 
I will speak to you of the japa giving all knowledge. Sadashiva is the rishi, it is 
said; Cchanda is the metre, [5] the devata is Bhairavi Devi, bestowing the four 
aims of mankind. 

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The application is that it gives all knowledge. [6] Mahakali Jagadhatri (creator 
of the world) Jaganmata ( mother of the world) Jaganmayi (consisting of the 
world) Jagadamba (world mother) Jagatsara (essence of the world) 
Jagadanandakarini (cause of bliss in the world) [7] Jagadvighnasini (destroyer of 
world obstacles) Gauri (golden one) Dukhadaridyanashini (destroyer of 
unhappiness and poverty) Bhairavabhavini Bhavananta Saras vataprada 
(bestower of eloquence). [8] Chaturvargaprada (giver of the four aims) Sadhvi 
(holy) Sarvamangalamangala (greatest fortune of all) Bhadrakali Vilakshi 
Kamadatri (giving desires) Kalatmika (self of kalas) [9] 


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Nilavani (blue Sarasvati) Mahagaurasarvanga (greatly golden in all limbs) 
Sundaripara (supremely beautiful) Sarvasampatprada (giver of all prosperity) 
Bhimanadini (sounding terrifying) Varavarnini [10] Vararoha Shivaruha (riding 
Shiva) Mahishasuradhatini Shivapujya (worshipped by Shiva) Shivaprita (loved 
by Shiva) Danavendraprapujita (worshipped by Danavas)[ll] Sarvavidyamayi 
(consisting of all vidya) Sarvasarvabhisthaphalaprada (giver of the fruit of every 
possible desire) Komalangi (soft of limbs) Vidhatri (creatrix) Vidhatrivaradayini 
(giver of boons in creation) [12] Purnenduvadana (with a face like the full 
moon) Nilameghavarna (the colour of a blue rain-cloud) Kapalini 

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Kurukulla Viprachitta Kantachitta Madonmada (drunk with desire) [13] Matangi 
(elephant lady) Madanaprita Madaghurnitalochana (eyes full of desire) 
Madottirna Kharparasinaramundavilasini [14] Naramundasraja (with a necklace 
of men's heads) Devi Khadgahasta (holding a cleaver) Bhayanaka (giving fear) 
Attahasayuta (laughing loudly) Padma (lotus) Padmaragopashobhita [15] 
Karabhayaprada (hand removing fear) Kali Kalaratrisvarupini (true form of the 
night of time) Svadha Svaha Vashatkara Saradindusamaprabha (as bright as the 
autumn moon) [16] 


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Sharatjyotsna (light of the autumn moon) Samhlada Viparitaratatura (addicted to 
taking the superior sexual role) Muktakeshi (dishevelled of hair) Cchinnajata 
Jatajutavilasini [17] Sarvarajayutabhima Sarvarajoparisthata Shmashanstha 
(dwelling in the cremation ground) Mahanandistuta (praised by Mahanandi) 
Samdiptalochana [18] Shavasanarata (addicted to the corpse asana)Nanda 
Siddhacharanasevita (served by Siddhacharas) Balidanapriya (fond of animal 
sacrifice)Garbha (the womb) Bhurbhuvasvahsvarupini (true form of 
Bhurbhuvahsvar)[19] Gayatri Savitri Mahanilasarasvati 

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Lakshmirlakshanasamyukta (showing all the signs of Lakshmi) 
Sarvalakshanalakshita (having every single characteristic) [20] 
Vyaghracharmavrita (wearing tiger skin) Madhya Trivalivalayanchita 
Gandharvaihsamstutasa (praised by the Gandharvas) hi Inda Mahapara (greatly 
supreme one) [21] Pavitra Parama (supreme) Maya Mahamaya Mahodaya. 
Maheshvari, so to you are declared the 100 celestial names [22] Whosoever 
reads these at morning time for certain gains a treasure. Here in this world, he is 
happy and afterwards attains union with Devi. [23] 


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He cannot be subjugated by siddhas, aughas, all which moves and does not 
move, whether they move on earth, in space or in heaven. [24] The names are 
called 'Boon', Maheshani and one may give up the 1000 (names). [25] One 
should recite the 100 (names) Devi, the giver of the fruit of the four aims (of 
mankind). O Parameshani, without knowing these 100 names [26], there is no 
siddhi from Mahakali in this Kali Yuga. 

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One who recites with devotion gains good results, listen! [27] He gains the 
resilts of hundreds of millions of Kalipujas. What use of more words? He will 
become the desired. [28] 


The Heart of Kali 

Final liberation is attained by the knowledge that the atma is the witness, is the 
truth, is omnipresent, is one, free from all deluding distractions of self and not- 
self the supreme, and though abiding in the body is not in the body. - 
Mahanirvana Tantra XIV, 116. 

[The following stotra (hymn), published in the Kali Rahasya, a Kali puja 
compendium, is intended to stave off bad fortune and give success. However, it 
also touches on many of the hidden left-hand (vamachara) practices of Kali. It is 
translated here into English for the first time.] 

Shri Mahakala said: Listen, dearest, to Dakshina's supreme secret, very hidden 
and difficult to obtain, her very marvellous hymn known as the Hridaya. 
Un vocalised before, I reveal it now because of your love. It should be concealed 
from others! This is true, true, O Mountain Born One. 

Shri Devi said: Shambhu Maheshvara, ocean of compassion, in which yuga did 
my hymn arise, and how was it created? Tell me all of this. 

Shri Mahakala said: A long time ago I decapitated Prajapati, and due to this evil 
act of slaying a brahmana came to be Bhairava (1). I created this hymn to 
destroy the sin of brahminicide, dearest. This hymn destroys the consequence of 
killing brahmins (2). 

Application: Om. Shri Mahakala is the rishi of this heart mantra of Shri 
Dakshina Kalika. Ushnik is the metre. Shri Dakshina Kalika is the devata. Krim 
is the bija. Hrim is the shakti. Namah is the peg. Its application follows from its 
continual recitation. 

Heart nyasa etc. 

Om. Kram to the heart namah. 
Om. Krim to the head svaha. 
Om. Krum to the peak vasat. 
Om. Kraim to the armour hum. 
Om. Kraum to the three eyes vausat. 
Om. Krah to the missile Phat. 

Meditate on Kali Mahamaya with three eyes, of different forms, with four arms, 
a rolling tongue, bright as a full moon, the colour of a blue night lotus, dispeller 


of the assembly of enemies, holding a man's skull, a sword, a lotus, and giving 

Her mouth is bloody and fanged, she has a fear inspiring form, she is addicted to 
very loud laughter and completely naked. 

The Devi sits on a corpse and is adorned with a garland of skulls. After 
meditating on Mahadevi like this, then read the Hridaya. 

Om Kalika, primordial and terrifying form, bestower of the fruit of all desires, 
hymned by all gods, destroy my enemies. 

Hrim, you who are the essence of Hrim, the most excellent thing in the three 
worlds, hard to obtain, out of love for me, deny anything whatsoever to he 
whom I name ! 

Now I speak of the meditation, O supreme self, the essence of night. Whoever 
knows this becomes liberated while still living. 

Meditate on her having dishevelled and matted hair, decorated with strings of 
serpents, a half moon as her diadem, in union with Mahakala. 

Boon giver, visualising her like this causes all people to become liberated in 
every way. This is true, true. 

Now listen to the yantra of the supreme goddess, the giver of success in 
whatsoever is desired. Hide this greatly quintessential secret of secrets with 
every effort. 

The Kali yantra, the giver of true siddhi, is made from five triangles, an eight 
petal lotus, surrounded by a bhupura, and encompassed by skulls and funeral 
pyres (3). The mantra, previously spoken of, should always be worn on the body 

Now Devi Dakshina Kali's garland of names is revealed: Kali, Dakshina Kali, 
black of body, the supreme self, wearing a garland of skulls, large eyed, cause of 
creation and dissolution, self of maintenance, Mahamaya, the power of yoga, the 
essence of good fortune, the female serpent, intoxicated with wine, the 
sacrificial offering, with the vagina as her banner, primordial one, always 
ninefold, terrifying, the greatly effulgent one, formidable, with a corpse as her 
vehicle, Siddhi Lakshmi, Niruddha, Sarasvati. 


Whoever recites this garland of names daily causes me to become their slave. 
Maheshvari, this is true, true. 

Kali, destroyer of time, goddess of skeletal form, taking the form of a raven, 
blacker than black, I worship you O Dakshina Kalika! 

I bow to you Kalika, Maharaudri, fond of the night, Devi liking kunda, gola and 
svayambhu flowers (4). 

I bow to you Duti (5), the Duti causing yoga to arise from sexual intercourse, 
you who are the great Duti, fond of Dutis, the supreme Duti, the Lady of Yoga. 

Those who recite the mantra Krim seven times over water and then sprinkle 
themselves with it destroy all disease. There is no question about this. 

Those who seek any object who charge sandal paste with the great mantra Krim 
Svaha and then make a forehead mark of it become the most intelligent of 
people, and always able to subjugate. 

Dearest, those who offer unhusked rice while reciting the mantra Krim Hram 
Hrim seven times, destroy great worries and obstacles, there is no doubt of it. 

Those who pronounce the mantra Krim Hrim Hrum Svaha over the cremation 
pyre, then encircle the house of their enemies with the ashes kill their enemies. 

Those who offer seven flowers and pronounce the mantra Hrum Hrim Krim 
uproot their foes, no doubt of it. 

If, after reciting Krim Krim Krim, while offering unhusked rice, it causes the 
object of attraction to swiftly come from a distance of even 1,000 yojanas (6). 

Those who recite the mantra Krim Krim Krim Hrum Hrum Hrim Hrim seven 
times, purifying water and making a forehead mark of it, delude the whole 

Parameshani, this Hridaya is the destroyer of all evil, a million million times 
greater than Ashvamedha and other sacrifices. The fruit it gives is one million 
million times better than the offerings given to virgins (7). Its results, it is said, 
are greater by one million million than those obtained from offering to Dutis. 

It is a million times greater than the results obtained from bathing in the Ganges 
and other sacred waters. Reciting it only once bestows these results. This is true, 
true, I swear it. 


The initiated person who, after worshipping a kumari of beautiful form, and then 
recites this hymn, becomes liberated whilst living, O Maheshani. 

If, after having seen the vagina full of menses, one should recite it with one- 
pointed mind, Varanane! he gains the supreme place in Deviloka, the heaven of 
the goddess. 

In great sorrow, suffering great disease, in great conflicts, in great anxieties, in 
fearful terrifying places, if one should recite this ultimate stotra. (one is freed 
from them) in a day. 

This is true, true and again true. It should be hidden like a mother's yoni. 


(1) This story is related in the Skanda Pur ana. Brahma liked his daughter and 
wanted to couple with her. But that didn't meet with the approval of Shiva, who 
cut off his fifth head. Brahma and Shiva had a great fight, which the latter won. 
Shiva, however, had committed the sin of killing a Brahmin, an act requiring 
expiation. Forever afterwards, Shiva in his form of Bhairava, the terrible one, 
bears the fifth head of Brahma. 

(2) So followers of Shiva have a licence to kill brahmins ! This probably stems 
from a time when the Aryan race was entering India and faced opposition from 
the indigenous tribes already occupying the subcontinent. 

(3) Kali has eight different cremation grounds. They are enumerated in the 
voluminous work called the Mahakalasamhita, Guhyakali Khanda. 

(4) The three primary types of menstrual blood in the tantrik tradition. 

(5) Duti means messenger. Yet the meaning is She who makes Shiva Her 

(6) A Hindu measure of distance. 

(7) Kumari Puja - to this day performed in Nepal, where a young girl is treated 
as an incarnation of the goddess. 


The Kali Nityas 

O All-Knowing One, if I am known, what need is there for revealed scriptures 
and sadhana? If I am unknown, what use for puja and revealed texts? I am the 
essence of creation, manifested as woman, intoxicated with sexual desire, in 
order to know you as guru, you with whom I am one. Even given this, 
Mahadeva, my true nature still remains secret - Kulachudamanitantra V 

Like Lalita, Kali has fifteen Nityas or eternities, but these are associated with the 
waning rather than the waxing Moon. These yantra images above are drawn 
from "The Magic of Kali" and based on descriptions from the Shaktisamgana 
T antra. 

Some of the descriptions of the Nitya yantras in this work are missing, and that 
explains their absence from the text below. The images and mantras should be 
contrasted with the Lalita Nityas. While the Kali Nityas are dark and forbidding, 
and the mantras have inimical natures, the Lalita Nityas are bright, and the 
mantras positive. 

Kali : The first Nitya of the waning moon 


Although she has the same name, she is separate, as an 
J~| avarana or attendant, of Kalika. 

Meditation: Dark hued, very terrifying, horribly screaming, 
U formidable, with a garland of skulls, full swelling breasts, 
1 'x--"| holding a cleaver in her right hand and making the 

threatening gesture in her left, in a cremation ground. 

Kali Nitya 

Dehi Svaha. 

Mantra: Om Hrim Kali Kali Mahakali Kaumari Mahyam 



Kapalini Nitya 

Kapalini: The second Nitya 

Her name means Skull-girl. 

_f Meditation: Black, naked, beautiful face, dishevelled hair, 
seated on four severed heads, showing a cleaver, trident, 
"1 bestowing boons and dispelling fear. 

Mantra: Om Hrim Krim Kapalini Maha-kapala-priye- 


manase kapala-siddhim me dehi Hum Phat Svaha. 

Attendants: In inner triangle desire, action and knowledge. In middle triangle 
Rati, Priti, Kanti. In outer triangle Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasarasvati. In 
the eight petals the eight bhairavas, with the eight Matrika Devls. In the bhupura 
the guardians of the directions. 

Kulla: The third Nitya 

i=l p^ Meditation: Four-armed, with three eyes, seated on ten 
I _ severed heads on a corpse, showing the gesture giving boons 
: -I and dispelling fear in her two left hands, in her right hands 
she holds a book and a rosary. 

Mantra: Om Krim Kullaya Namah. 

Attendants: In the first triangle Dhriti, Pushti, Medha. In 
ltya second Tushti, Prajna, Jaya. In the eight petals the eight 
Matrikas and Bhairavas, in the four doors the Lokapalas (Guardians of the 
directions cardinal and intermediate). 

Kurukulla: The fourth Nitya 

Meditation: Large rising breasts, beautiful buttocks, black 

_f in colour, seated on a corpse, with dishevelled hair, wearing 
a garland of skulls, carrying a skull, scissors, a cleaver and a 

Mantra: Krim Om Kurukulle Krim Hrim Mama Sarva- 
Jana-Vasamanya Krim Kurukulle Hrim Svaha. 

Kurukulla Nitya 

Attendants: In inner triangle Kali, Tara, Chinnamasta. In middle Balamba, 
Ragala, Rama. In outer Ugra-Garbha, Ugra-Bija, Ugra-Virya. The eight 
Bhairavas and the eight Matrikas are in the eight petals, and the Lokapalas are in 
the directions. 

Virodhini: The fifth Nitya 

Meditation: Full rising breasts, wearing a garland of snakes 
J~| and bones, terrific, with three eyes and four arms, holding a 

trident, a serpent noose, a bell and a damaru. Seated on a 
n corpse, yellow body, purple clothes. 


Virodhini Nitya 

Mantra: Om Krim Hrim Klim Hum Virodhini satrun-ucchataya virodhaya 
virodhaya satru- ksayakari Hum Phat. 

Attendants: In inner triangle Dhumrarchirushma, Javalini, Visphulingini, in 
middle Sushri, Surupa, Kapila. In outer the three Shaktis called Havyavaha, 
Virodhini-mastake, Dashami. In the eight petals the eight Bhairavas and 
Matrikas, in the bhupura the Lokapalas. 

Vipradutta Nitya 

Vipracitta: The sixth Nitya 

Meditation: Full rising breasts, four arms, three eyes, naked, 
n the colour of a blue lotus, dishevelled hair, rolling tongue, 
inspiring fear, holding a cleaver, a severed head, a skull cap 
and a trident. She shows her teeth, from the corner of her 
U mouth flows blood. 

Mantra: Om Shrim Klim Camunde Vipracitte Dushta- 
Ghatini Shatrun-Nashaya Etad-Dina-Vadhi Priye Siddhim 
Me Dehi Hum Phat Svaha. 

Attendants: Bindu with bija, three gunas in the triangle, six limbs in the 
hexagram, the Matrikas and the Bhairavas in the eight petals, the guardians of 
the directions in the bhupura. 

Ugra: the seventh Nitya 

Meditation: Naked, formidable, with terrific fangs, legs in 
pratyalidha posture, wearing a garland of skulls, with 
dishevelled hair, black, four arms, holding a sword, a night 
lotus, a skull and a knife, dwelling in the cremation ground. 

Mantra: Om Strim Hum Hrim Phat. 

ugra Nitya Attendants: In centre Hum bija, in triangle Tara, Nila and 

Ekajata. In the eight petals Ugra- Ghopra and the rest of the 
Bhairavas, on the outside Vairochana and the rest of the eight matrikas, in the 
bhupura the lokapalas. 


Ugraprabha: The Eighth Nitya 

]— ' Meditation: Four arms, three eyes, colour of a blue lotus, 

r-i seated on a corpse, naked, with dishevelled hair, rising 

^ swelling breasts, pleasant face, eating carrion, wearing a 

girdle of severed hands of corpses, holding a cleaver and a 

~y head, a skull bowl and a knife. 

.=] Mantra: Om Hum Ugra-Prabhe Devi Kali Mahadevi 
ugmpmbte Nit ya Svarupam Darshaya Hum Phat Svaha. 

Attendants: in first triangle Kali, Tara and Rochani. In outer triangle Tarini- 
Gana, Taramekajata and Nila. In the eight petals the Matrikas, on the tips of the 
petals the eight Bhairavas. In the bhupura the Lokapalas. 

Dipa Nitya: The ninth Nitya 

Meditation: Four arms, three eyes, like a large sapphire, with a garland of 
skulls, naked, dishevelled hair, fearful fangs, armlets of human bone, bracelets 
of skulls, carries a cleaver and a head in her left hands and shows the gestures of 
dispelling fear and gesture of giving in her right hands. 

Mantra: Om Krim Hum Diptayai Sarva-Mantra-Phaladayai Hum Phat Svaha. 

Nila: The tenth Nitya 


■ — i Meditation: Four arms, three eyes, like blue orpiment, 

' 1 wearing a necklace of skulls, seated on a corpse, eyes red and 

_f rolling, protruding tongue, ornaments of human flesh and 
bones, beautiful face, eyes like a gazelle. 

U Mantra: Hum Hum Krim Krim Hrim Hrim Hasabalamari 
I — , Nilapatake Hum Phat. 

Nik Nitya Attendants: In triangle Kalaratri, Maharatri, Moharatri. In 
hexagon, the six limbs. In the eight petals, the eight Bhairavas. In the eight 
filaments of the lotus, the eight Matrikas. In the bhupura Vatuka Natha etc. 


Ghana Nitya 

Ghana, the Eleventh Nitya 

Meditation: Four arms, three eyes, delighting in nakedness, 

n formidable, terrifying teeth, swelling rising breasts, black, 

blood streams from the corners of her mouth, she wears a 

girdle of dead men's hands, and holds a sword, a shield, a 

[\ trident and a club. 

Mantra: Om Klim Om Ghanalaye Ghanalaye Hrim Hum 

Attendants: The six limbs are in the six angles, the Bhairavas and the Matrikas 
are in the eight petals, and the guardians of the directions are in the bhupura. 

Balaka, the twelfth Nitya 

Meditation: Four arms, three eyes, intoxicated with wine, wearing a garland of 
skulls, naked, formidable, with rising swelling breasts, holding a sword and a 
head in her left hands and a skull bowl and the threatening finger in her right 
hands. Seated in a fortress of skulls, she is like ten million fires of dissolution or 

Mantra: Om Krim Hum Hrim Balaka Kali ati adbhute parakrame abhista 
siddhim me dehi Hum Phat Svaha. 

Matra, the thirteenth Nitya 

Meditation: Blue-black, smeared with blue paste, with four arms and three 
eyes, wearing a garland of skulls, seated on a corpse, fierce, holding a skull 
bowl, scissors, a sword and a severed head. This great Raudri roars terrifyingly. 

Mantra: Om Krim Him Hum Aim 10 Mahamatre siddhim me dehi satvaram 
Hum Phat Svaha. 


Mudra, the fourteenth Nitya 

Meditation: Naked, the colour of a blue lotus, fierce, with 
_f three tawny eyes, four arms, roaring loudly, with a garland of 
heads, a girdle of hands, blood on her lips, holding a skull 
bowl and a knife, a sword and a shield. 

Mudra Nitya 


Mantra: Om Krim Him Hum Prim Phrem Mudramba Mudrasiddhim me dehini 
bho jaganmudrasvarupini Hum Phat Svaha. 

Attendants: In the triangle are Iccha, Jnana and Kriya Shaktis. Rajyada, 
Bhogada, Moksada, Jayada, Abhayada, Siddhida are in the hexagon. The eight 
Matrikas are in the eight petals, with the eight Bhairavas at their filaments. In 
the bhupura are Ganapa, the Yoginis, Ksetrapala and Vatuka Natha. 

Mita Nitya 

Mita, the fifteenth Nitya 

Meditation: Red clothes, dishevelled hair, rising swelling 

J breasts, beautiful buttocks, delighting in nakedness, 

terrifying, dark blue in colour, sitting on a corpse, wearing a 

~i garland of skulls, with four arms, three eyes, holding a sword 

and a severed head in her left hands and dispelling fear and 

^ — i granting boons with her right hands. She is like ten million 

fires of dissolution at the end of time, dwelling in the 

cremation ground. 

Mantra: Om Krim Hum Hrim Aim Mite Paramite parakramaya Om Krim Hum 
Him Em So-aham Hum Phat Svaha. 

Attendants: In the first triangle Kali, Karalini, Ghora. In the second, Varna, 
Jyestha, Raudrika. In the third, Iccha, Jnana, Kriya. In the first part Vartali, then 
Laghuvarahi, Svapnavarahi, in the fourth Tiraskarini. The six limbs in the 
hexagon, and the Matrikas in the eight petals, with the Lokapalas being in the 


The Kali Yantra 

Sadashiva is without energy (lifeless) when Mahakali is manifest. He also is like 
a corpse when in union with Shakti. Clearly, without Shakti, the primordial god 
is lifeless and cannot act - Todala Tantra, I 

The Dakshinakali yantra, pictured left, conforms to the general pattern of all 
Shakti yantras but has its own particular form. In the centre is a group of five 
triangles. Each point represents one of the fifteen Kali Nityas or eternities, one 
for each day of the waning Moon. In the eight petals are eight Bhairavas and 
eight Bhairavis, coupling together. Yantras which are not inscribed with bija 
mantras and the matrikas are unsuitable for worship, as are those which are 
created by an uninitiated person, those which do not have life installed (see 
below). Mantras, meanwhile, are useless even if one is initiated, unless 
purashcarana, a preparatory rite, is performed. 

Bhairava means terrifying, and these couples are particularised aspects of 
Dakshina Kalika, conforming to the eight tantrik directions. This is also the 
Kaula circle where males and females congregate on one of the dark days of the 
Moon to perform their uncanny rites. Each subsidiary Kali Nitya has her own 
yantra and mantra conforming to the nature of each of the days of the dark 
fortnight of the Moon. 

Every tantrik deity has her or his daily puja which a devotee performs and the 
pattern for these sadhanas are all very similar. After first clearing and purifying 
a space, a yantra is drawn, and the sadhaka then performs nyasa, afterwards 
meditating on the Devi in her or his own heart and taking her, through the vital 
breath, to dwell in the centre of the yantra. Before using a yantra for this 
purpose, life and breath have to be installed. This rite (pranapratishta - 
installation of prana) uses the matrikas and gives the yantra the 36 tantrik 
tattvas. Yantras, too, have a definite life span, depending on the material. Gold, 
for example, lasts for life, silver for seven years, etc. 

The image of Dakshina Kalika is awesome. She has a fanged mouth, looks 
terrifying, has dishevelled hair, has four arms and is adorned with a necklace of 
human skulls. She holds a newly severed head and a swords, her other hands 
shows the mudras which dispell fear and grant boons. She is the colour of a 
thundercloud, dusky, and is completely naked (digambara, clothed in space). 
Blood trickles from the sides of her mouth, and her earrings are two corpses of 
young boys. She has rising, large swelling breasts, and is seated in intercourse 
on the body of a corpse. She laughs loudly. The corpse is Mahadeva Shiva in his 
form of Mahakala and the whole scene is within the cremation ground. 


Once installed in her form - and this can be a yantra, a statue, a flower, a book 
and various other sacred items - Devi is treated as being actually present, and the 
adept offers her various good things, food, perfume, drink, incense, and a whole 
host of other ritual accessories. There are five, or sixteen or sixty four upachara 
(ritual accessories - see the abstract of the Gandharva T antra for details). These 
upacharas can be either external or internal. The true flowers, according to the 
tradition, are flowers such as compassion, forgiveness, kindness and the like. 
The attendants of the Devi are then worshipped, and offerings given to them too. 

At this stage, the initiate can then perform various other rites, finally winding up 
by again taking the Devi into her or his heart, wiping out the yantra, and closing 
the rite. Things do not have to take such a formal shape, however. Devi 
describes a continual method of worship in the Kulachudamani Tantra. 

"Dear son, my secret originates in simple practice. Those lacking this do not 
obtain success even in one hundred koti of births. Folk following the path of 
Kula and the Kulashastras are broad minded, from following the path of Vishnu, 
patient of insult, and always doing good to others. 

"One should go to the temple of a deva, or to a deserted place, free of people, an 
empty place, to a crossroads or to an island. There, one should recite the mantra 
and, having bowed, become one with divinity and free from sorrow. 

"Bow to Mahakali if you see a vulture, a she-jackal, a raven, an osprey, a hawk, 
a crow or a black cat, saying: "O Origin of all, greatly terrifying one, with 
dishevelled hair, fond of flesh offering, charming one of Kulachara, I bow to 
you, Shankara's beloved! 

"If you should see a cremation ground or a corpse, circumambulate. Bowing to 
them, and reciting a mantra, a mantrin becomes happy: 'O you with terrible 
fangs, cruel eyed one, roaring like a raging sow! Destroyer of life! O mother of 
sweet and terrifying sound, I bow to you, dweller in the cremation ground.' 

"If you should see a red flower or red clothes - the essence of Tripura - prostrate 
yourself like a stick on the ground and recite the following mantra: 'Tripura, 
destroyer of fear, coloured red as a bandhuka blossom! Supremely beautiful one, 
hail to you, giver of boons.' 

"If you should see a dark blue flower, a king, a prince, elephant, horse, chariot, 
swords, blossoms, a vira, a buffalo, a Kuladeva, or an image of Mahishamardini 
- bow to Jayadurga to become free of obstacles. Say: 'Jaya Devi! Support of the 
universe! Mother Tripura! Triple divinity!' 


"If you should see a wine jar, fish, meat or a beautiful woman, bow to Bhairavi 
Devi, saying this mantra: 'O destructress of terrifying obstacles ! Grace giver of 
the path of Kula! I bow to you, boon giver adorned with a garland of skulls! O 
red clothed one! One praised by all! All obstacles destroying Devi! I bow to 
you, the beloved of Hara.' 

"Dear son, if a person sees these things without bowing, the Shakti mantra does 
not give success. 

"I am the essence of this, beloved of the Kula folk. All the Dakinis are my parts. 
Listen Bhairava! One who has gained success in my simple yoga cannot be 
harmed by a Dakini. My devotees abound in wealth and cannot be conquered by 
Vatukas or Bhairavas. 

"Whichever Kaula is seen by a young girl or woman, whether he be in village, 
city, festival, or at the crossroads, causes her to be filled with longing, her heart 
aching, her eyes darting glances, like a line of bees mad for honey falls on a 
lotus flower, greedy for nectar, like a female partridge for a cloud, like a cow for 
her recently born calf, like a female gazelle eager for young shoots of grass, like 
jackals for flesh, like a person tortured by thirst who sees water, like a dvamsi 
(?) at the sight of a lotus fibre, or like an ant greedy for honey. 

"The sight of such a Kaula, enveloped by the Kulas, causes her lower garment to 
slip, she becomes mad with lust, and of unsteady appearance. Seeing her on a 
couch, her breasts and vagina exposed, one should fall to her feet, and, rising, 
fall again. 

"One should impart the oral lore to an alluring female companion - in her feet 
resides the secret of the act of love. One attracts such female companions, with 
beautiful hips and beautiful breasts, like a moon to the Kaula, free from greed or 
modesty, devoted, patient of heart, sensuous, very inner of spirit. 

"In such a happy Duti, curiosity may suddenly arise, she asking 'Dear son, what 
is to be done or not to be done? Speak!' One should perform sacrifice to the 
indwelling Maya and offer the remainder to the Shakti. After this, one should 
excite her and then perform the act of love. 

"On a Tuesday, in the cremation ground, smeared with Kula vermilion, using 
Kula wood, one should draw a yantra. In the petals write the Camunda Mantra, 
'Sphrem Sphrem Kiti Kiti' twice, and then the ninefold mantra of 
Mahishamardini. Outside this, write the mantras of Jayadurga and Shmashana 
Bhairavi. After writing them, worship Bhadrakali at night, meditating on 
Kamakhya, the essence of Kamakala. 


"The Kulakaulika, naked, with dishevelled hair, should meditate on the 
formidable Kali, with her terrifying fangs and appearance, Digambari, with her 
garlands of human arms, seated on a corpse in Virasana, in sexual union with 
Mahakala, her ears adorned with bone ornaments, blood trickling from her 
mouth, roaring terrify ingly, wearing a garland of skulls, her large and swelling 
breasts smeared with blood, intoxicated with wine, trembling, holding in her left 
hand a sword, and in her right hand a human skull, dispelling fear and granting 
boons, her face terrifying, her tongue rolling wildly, her left ear adorned with a 
raven's feather, her jackal servants roaring loudly like the end of time, she 
herself laughing terribly and pitilessly, surrounded by hordes of fearsome 
Bhairavas, treading on human skeletons, wholly occupied with the sounds of 
victorious battle, the supreme one, served by numberless hosts of powerful 

"After meditating on Kalika, the lord of Kula should then worship her. Unless 
one enters the other city, Kulasiddhi cannot be achieved. Because this Devi 
gives all success as soon as she is remembered, she is hymned in the three 
worlds as Dakshina. 

"O Bhairava, by reciting her mantra 108 times, one can achieve whatever object 
is wished for. After establishing oneself at the crossroads and meditating on the 
Devi in your heart, one should enter the city adorned with the most beautiful 
sorts of jewels. After meditating on Devi in the four directions, bow to the 
Kulaguru and, holding the name of the object of siddhi in your left hand, 
pronounce the mantra. 

"Smearing the eyes with anjana, one may shatter iron locks barring doors, 
becoming able to enter either stable, warrior's house, Kalika temple, treasury or 
sacred place, and may have sexual union according to will even 100 times. After 
meditating on Svapnavati Devi, one should enter the pavilion of Kama." 

The Kali Tantra gives more details of the puja of Kalika: - 

"Now I speak of the ritual injunction which is the all-nectar-giver of the Devi. 
Doing this, a person becomes like Bhairava. 

"Firstly, I speak of yantra, the knowing of which conquers death. At first draw a 
triangle. Outside, draw another. Then draw three more triangles. "Draw a circle 
and then a beautiful lotus. Then draw another circle and then a bhupura with 
four lines and four doors. This is how the cakra should be drawn. 


"Worship the guru line, the six limbs, and the dikpalas (The eight, or according 
to some, ten guardians of the directions, ed.). Then the mantrin should place his 
head at the feet of the guru. 

"O dearest one, after worshipping the pedestal, set down the offering. Place the 
mantra in the six limbs. Then, within the heart lotus, the ultimate Kala blossoms. 

"Place her in the centre of the yantra by invoking her (via the breath). After 
meditating on the great goddess, dedicate the ritual offerings. Bow to Mahadevi 
and then worship the surrounding deities. 

"Worship Kali, Kapalini, Kulla, Kurukulla, Virodhini, Vipracitta in the six 
angles. Then Ugra, Ugraprabha, Dipta in the middle. Then Nila, Ghana and 
Balaka in the inner angle. Then Matra, Mudra and Mita within this triangle, and 
then the very dusky one holding the sword, adorned with human skulls, with her 
left hand showing the threatening mudra and having a pure smile. 

"Worship the eight mothers Brahmi, Narayani, Maheshvari, Chamunda, 
Kaumari, Aparajita, Varahi and Narasimhi. 

"In equal shares, give these devis animal sacrifice and worship them, smearing 
them with scent and offering incense and flame. After doing the puja, worship 
using the root mantra. 

"Give food and so forth to the Devi again and again. The sadhaka should offer 
flame ten times. So also he should offer flower with mantra according to the 
rules of ritual. 

"After meditating on Devi, recite the mantra 1,008 times. The fruit of reciting, 
which is light, place in the hands of the Devi. 

"Then, placing the flower on the head, do prostration. With supreme devotion, 
then rub out (the yantra)." 


Shri Mahakala Deva 

The highest sadhaka who recites a mantra whilst holding the rosary of human 
skullbone holds in his hand the eight siddhis, and is like the imperishable 
Shambhu. As the Ganges is situated at the top of one 's head, what need is there 
to bathe in the (external) Ganges ? Whosoever is devoted to the great rosary of 
human skullbone gains the merit of bathing in all sacred waters such as 
Varanasi, Kamarupa, Haridvara, Prayaga, River Gandaki, Vadarika and the 
Ganges Delta - Matrikabhedatantra IV, 27-29 

The male spouse of Mahakali is the outwardly frightening Mahakala (Great 
Time), whose meditation image (dhyana), mantra, yantra and meditation image 
is given in the Shaktisamgama Tantra. 

According to this work, the mantra of Mahakala is Hum Hum Mahakala praside 
praside Hrim Hrim Svaha. The seer of the mantra is Kalika, it is pronounced in 
the Virat meter, the bija of the mantra is Hum, the shakti is Hrim and the 
linchpin is Svaha. 

Mahakala has four arms and three eyes, and is of the brilliance of 10,000,000 
black fires of dissolution, dwells in the midst of eight cremation grounds, is 
adorned with eight skulls, seated on five corpses, holding a trident, a damaru, a 
sword and a kharpa in his hands. 

With a beautiful body adorned with ashes from the cremation ground, on various 
corpses he dallies with Kalika, fondling her and making love with her and 
fiercely kissing her, surrounded by numbers of loudly shrieking vultures and 
jackals, adorned with a heap of braided hair, in a deserted place. 

Kalika is of the form of the void, ornamented with skulls, with a sweet and 
charming face, in the midst of that five-fold love-yantra. Her yoni is the wheel 
of time (kalachakra), the tantra states. 

Then follow various meditations that his devotees can perform. 

"Meditate on Ganapati in the Muladhara, in the linga on Ganapati's beloved one, 
in the navel Vatuka Natha, in the heart on Vatuka Natha's beloved one, in the 
throat Oddiyana Pitha, in the brow the auspicious blazing one, in the forehead 
Karavira, and in the lock of hair Kshetrapala." 

[Kshetrapala is lord or protector of the place. According to the Tantraraja 
Tantra, Shiva bestowed a boon on him which made him unconquerable in the 


three worlds. The only way the gods could subdue him was by 64 of them sitting 
on him at once.] 

"Meditate on Devi Kalika in the trikona, in the six petals the six limbs, in the 
navel the Shaktis of the directions, in the heart the twelve suns, in the throat the 
sixteen kalas of the moon, in the two-petalled lotus Kala and Kali together. 

"On the head Kalika, the mother holding dominion over the void; in the 
forehead the Khecari; on the brow the Dikcari; in the heart the Gocari; in the 
navel the Bhucari; in the linga the Khaga; and in the Muladhara Vicitra " 

[These are various classes of Shakti, some of which help the sadhaka towards 
his goal and some of which throw up obstacles.] 

"In the forehead the sun, in the right eye the lord of time, in the left eye the lord 
of fire, in the throat Kalika, in the heart the demon-born, in the navel the demon 

"Meditate in the head on Brahmi with Manthana-Bhairava; in the forehead 
Maheshvari with Satcakra-Bhairava; in the throat Kaumari with Phatkara 
Bhairava; in the heart Vaishnavi with Vibhaksha Bhairava; in the navel Varahi 
with Viresha Bhairava; in the genitals Indrani with Shrimanteshvara Bhairava; 
in the Muladhara Camunda with Hamsa Garbha Bhairava; in all the limbs 
Mahalakshmi with Candikeshvara Bhairava." 

(These are the eight Siddha Devis, together with the eight Bhairavas, or Terrible 

Hymn to Mahakala Shani Mrityunjaya 

There is a remarkable hymn attributed to the Martandabhairava Tantra which 
identifies Mahakala with Shani, or the planet Saturn, as well as with 
Mrityunjaya, or Shiva as conqueror of death. According to various sources, in 
the past there were five schools of tantra: the Shakta, which worshipped Devi; 
the Shaiva, which worshipped Shiva; the Ganapatya, which worshipped the 
elephant-god Ganesh; the Vaishnava, which worshipped Vishnu in his various 
forms; and the Saura. While the Saura were nominally worshippers of the Sun , 
in practice, they worshipped the son of the Sun, Shani. Here we translate the 
hymn to Mahakala Shani Mrityunjaya into English: 

Shambhu Mahakala Shani, his body of sapphire hue, beautiful, celestial, 
resembling the cremation fire, holding axe, trident, arrow and a bow, enemy of 


the Puras and the conqueror of all other demons, sitting on the Mem mountain 
peak, in a state of samarasa, was bowed to by Gauri, and questioned. 

Parvati said: Holy god of all gods, cause of devotion and grace, tell me what 
lengthens life, you have not talked of this before. Tell me about your mighty 
form which promotes friendship in the worlds. Tell me about your special 
Mahakala form. Relate the hymn of praise to Shani Mrityunjaya, who gives 
freedom from time, bestows immortality, destroys untimely disease and give the 
Shani mantra particular to this hymn! 

Ishvara said: Gauri, I always love you because you love the universe! This is the 
highest secret of all secrets, heavenly, the cause of creation in the universe. I am 
going to tell you the hymn of Shani Mrityunjaya. It gives good luck, kills all 
enemies, cures all disease, saves from accidental death, and promotes good 
health and longevity. 

Gauri, if you love me, hide this carefully! Maheshvari, listen to that which is 
hidden in all tantras ! 

Pippalada is the seer (rishi) of this mantra-song of Shri Mahakala Shani 
Mrityunjaya. Anustubh is the metre. Mahakala Shani is the god. Sham is the 
seed, ayasi is the Shakti, kalapurusa is the kilaka. When reciting it, its result is 
freedom from untimely death. 

Do rishi nyasa, hand nyasa and body nyasa. Place Maha Ugra on the head, 
Yaivasvata on the mouth, Shani on the mouth, and Mahagraha on the arms. 
Place Mahakala in the heart, Krisnatanu in the genitals, Tuducara on the knees, 
and Shanaiscara on the feet. 

After doing nyasa according to rule, the body becomes like Shani, the lord of 
time. Now I will tell you of the meditation nyasa for the body, which a person 
should do after meditating. 

Put the kalpa and its divisions in the hands and limbs. [These are the major 
divisions of time according to the Hindu viewpoint] 

Say: "Hail to you Mrityunjaya! You are Mahakala's real form and the form of all 
manvantaras ! " Place Kalatma on the body. 

Say: "Hail Mahakala!" and meditate on all the limbs. 

Meditate on the source of years, saying "Hail to you, conqueror of time." 


Say: "Hail to you, served by eternity!" on the eyes and brow. 

Say: "Hail to you Saura," on the cheeks. 

Say: "Hail to you, black looking one!" on the hair. 

Say: "Hail to you, lucky Maha Ugra," on the arms. 

(Now follow the 27 naksatras or lunar constellations) 

Say: "Hail to you, one hard to see," putting Asvina on the mouth. 

Say: "Hail to you, blue rayed one," putting Kartika on the throat. 

Say: "Hail to you, Maharudra," putting Margasiras on the arms. 

Say: "Hail to you, celestial, strong and unconquerable one," putting Pausya on 
the heart. 

Say: "Hail to you, revealer of time," putting Magha on the belly. 

Say: "Hail to you, slow mover," putting Phalguna on the penis. 

Say: "Hail to you, source of all," putting Caitra on the thighs. 

Say: "Hail to you, dissolver of the world," putting Vaisakha on the knees. 

Say: "Hail to you, Bhairava," putting Jyesta on the legs. 

Say: "Hail to you, night," putting Asadh on the feet. 

Say: "Hail to you, dark fortnight," from the feet to the head. 

Say: "Hail to you, bright fortnight," from the top of the head to the feet. 

Say: "Hail to you, Saturn, Mula, soles of feet. 

Say: "Hail to you, Conquerer of all, Toya all the toes. 

Say: "Hail to you, Scorching star, Visva, ankles. 

Say: "Hail to you, Star of learning, Visnabha, legs. 

Say: "Hail to you, Black rayed one, Dhanista, knees. 


Say: "Hail to you, Support of time, Varuna, thighs. 

Say: "Hail to you, Having dishevelled and matted locks, Purvabhadra, penis. 

Say: "Hail to you, Formidable one, Uttarabhadra, back. 

Say: "Hail to you, Slow mover, Revati, navel. 

Say: "Hail to you, Dark planet, Hasta, belly. 

Say: "Hail to you, Yama, Bhogisraja, breasts. 

Say: "Hail to you, Liking sesame, Krittika, heart. 

Say: "Hail to you, Axe bearer, Rohini, right hand. 

(Now follow the 12 Suns) 

Say: "Hail to you, Carrying trident happily, Mrga, left hand. 

Say: "Hail to you, Supporting life, Raudra, upper right hand. 

Say: "Hail to you, Holding bow, Punarvasu, upper left hand. 

Say: "Hail to you, Destroyer, Tisya, right arm. 

Say: "Hail to you, Terrifying archer, Sarpa, left arm. 

Say: "Hail to you, Smeared in ash, Magha, throat. 

Say: "Hail to you, Cruel planet, Bhaga, mouth. 

Say: "Hail to you, Yogi, Yama, right nostril. 

Say: "Hail to you, Support, Hasta, left nostril. 

Say: "Hail to you, Eating little, Tvastra, right ear. 

Say: "Hail to you, Made of the absolute, Svati, left ear. 

Say: "Hail to you, Knower of things, Visakha, right eye. 

(Now different yogas of Hindu astrology follow.) 

Say: "Hail to you, Kala, Viskambha, joints of timple. 



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o you, Great slow one, Pritiyoga, brow joints. 

o you, Awesome one, Ayusmanyoga, eye joints. 

o you, Giving slow results, Saubhagya, nose joints. 

o you, Lucky being, Eobhana, ear joints. 

o you, Black one, Hanu (?), jaw joints. 

o you, Skeleton, Sukarmana, neck. 

o you, Shadowy son, Dhriti, right shoulder joint. 

o you, Ugra, Shula, shoulder joints. 

o you, Eternally gladdening, Karpura, chest. 

o you, Knowing time, Vrddhi, middle of chest. 

o you, Krishna, Dhruva, wrist joints. 

o you, Skinny one, Vyaghata, back of shoulder. 

o you, Destroying things, Harsana, shoulder joints. 

o you, Blissful, Vajra, elbows. 

o you, Fire of time, Siddhi, centre of chest (?). 

o you, Self of time, Variyasa, right side joints. 

o you, Hail and hail to you, Parigha, left side joints. 

o you, Self evident time, Shiva, right thigh joints. 

o you, One of great mass, Siddhi, right knee joint. 

o you, Terrifying, Sadhya, right ankle joint. 

o you, Raudra, Shubha, right toe joints. 

o you, Knower of time, Shukla, left thigh joint. 

o you, True yogi, Brahmayoga, left knee joint. 


Say: "Hail to you, Knower of yoga, Aindra, left ankle joint. 

Say: "Hail to you, Gracious one, Vaidhrita, left toe joints. 

(Now the seven dhatus or components of the human body according to 
Ayurveda, follow.) 

Say: "Hail to you, Sacrificer, Vavakarana, skin. 

Say: "Hail to you, Destroyer, Balava, blood. 

Say: "Hail to you, All consumer, Kaulava, bone. 

Say: "Hail to you, Lover of flesh, Taitila, flesh. 

Say: "Hail to you, All-chewer, Gara, fat. 

Say: "Hail to you, Killer of all, Vanija, marrow. 

Say: "Hail to you, Wrathful terrible fire, Visti, semen. 

Hail to the lord of space, the essence of space, invoked by many, the 100-fold 
one, the piercer of the Moon! 

Hail to the faithful one, the true one, the eternally true one, hail to you lord of 
siddhas! Hail to you lord of yoga, naked flame, mover, origin of Varuna and 

Hail to you rising in the ascendant, tall one, guide, moving in direct motion ! 

Hail to you, crooked one, very cruel one, moving in retrograde motion! 

Hail to you in the constellations, to you who moves in the constellations, you 
who causes the constellations to tremble, you the Natha of constellations, you 
the giver of results in constellations. Hail to you! 

Hail to you, time, supporter of Yama, Agni, Moon and Sun! 

Hail to you, planet of Capricorn and Aquarius, exalted in Libra! 

(Now the days of the week follow.) 

Say: "Hail to you, Black looks, Sunday, forehead. 


Say: "Hail to you, Lover of death, Monday, mouth. 

Say: "Hail to you, Absolute one, Tuesday, belly. 

Say: "Hail to you, Embodied self, Wednesday, penis. 

Say: "Hail to you, True form of mantra, Thursday, testicles. 

Say: "Hail to you, Cause of results, Friday, anus. 

Say: "Hail to you, Skeleton, Saturday, feet. 

(Now various divisions of time according to Hindu astrology, follow.) 

Say: "Hail to you, Subtle one, ghatikas, in hairs. 

Say: "Hail to you, Form of time, killer of all evil, destroyer of the demon 
Tripura, origin of Shambhu! 

Say: "Hail to you, Body of time, origin of time 

Say: "Hail to you, varied parts of time, bliss of time. 

Say: "Hail to you, Immeasurable measurer 

Say: "Hail to you, god of time, time itself, essence of time. 

Form of time, Bhairava, both nimesa and mahakalpa. I bow to you Mrtyunjaya 

Cause of all, alleviator of all fear, peril and the wicked, I bow to you... 

Slayer of all, origin of all planets, cause of all results, I bow to you... 

Giver of peace and prosperity to all living beings, I bow to you... 

Cause of all happiness and misery, true form of all that exists, I bow to you... 

Dispeller of untimely and accidental death, I bow to you... 

Form of time, great planet, destroyer of samsara, I bow to you... 

One of baleful glance, coarse haired one, terrifying one, long eyed one, I bow to 


Dispeller of all planets, essence of the planets themselves, I bow to you... 

Because you are the essence of time, I bow before you Shani! The whole world 
and time itself dissolves in you, the god of time! You are the body of time, the 
self, Shambhu, the Kalatma, the planetary devata! 

The Shyama Upanishad 

Just as a blind man cannot see the Sun, which shines on all, so those deluded by 
your Maya do not see the Kula - Kularnavatantra II, 53 

There is a whole class of tantrik literature going under the name upanishad, 
which are not, however, nearly as ancient as works such as the Chandogya 
Upanishad and others. These upanishads, amongst which may be numbered the 
example below, often contain tantrik features which are absent from the older 
class of Hindu literature. 

They may have been composed for several reasons; to give scriptural (Vedik) 
authority for the revealed tantras, or, quite the reverse, to undermine Vedik 

Be that as it may, there is no doubt that Hinduism, for many hundred years, has 
followed the tantrik model with temple worship, pujas, sadhus and the rest. 
Orthodox Brahminism has been left to orthodox brahmins. 

The following name of the short work refers to Shyama (dusky), a form of the 
goddess, but the content is based on the puja of Kalika. 

Om Krim. In the thousand petalled lotus one may achieve the true form of the 
absolute, most beautiful, using three Krims, two Hums, two Hrims, Dakshine 
Kalike, then the previous seven syllables, ending with svaha. This is the best of 
all mantras. 

One who recites this is lord of gods, the lord of the universe, the lord of women, 
every guru, all name, learned in all the vedas, immersed in all the sacred waters, 
Sadashiva himself. 

Triangle, triangle, triangle, triangle, triangle, together with eight filamented 
petals, with a bhupura. Place Devi here, and in the heart and other limbs 
meditate on Her. 


Meditate on Kalika as an adolescent, the colour of a thunder cloud, with crooked 
teeth, her hands bestowing boons, removing fear, and holding a sword and a 

Kali, Kapalini, Kulla, Kurukulla, Virodhini and Vipracitta are in the six angles. 
Ugra, Ugraprabha, Dipta, Nila, Ghana, Balaka, Matra, Mudra and Mita are in 
the nine angles. Brahmi, Narayani, Maheshvari, Chamunda, Varahi, Narasimhi, 
Kaumari and Aparajita are in the eight petals. Madhava, Rudra, Vinayaka and 
Saurah are in the four angles. The dikpalas are in the directions. 

Worship Devi in all the limbs, making the oblation with nectar and doing puja 
with the pancatattva. This is how devotees become saints. 

The first result is that enemies become friends. Reciting the mantra protects 
against theft. The devotee becomes wealthy. This is the result of devotion to 
Tara, Durga or Sundari. All Bhutas sleep, while the black limbed one awakes. 
He without a son who studies this Upanishad of the black limbed one, gets a 
son. It is the equivalent of bathing in water like the Ganges, going to the holy 
places, sacrifice and homa. 


Shrikula - Lalita Tradition 

The Five Limbs (Panchanga) of Bala 

Listen, Virachamunda, to the characteristics of jiva. It is supreme, whole, 
eternal, consisting of nothing, stainless. It is the ultimate atomic particle, the 
Natha, it is supreme Shiva, all pervading, it is above all, it is Hamsa, the soul of 
Shakti. It is the mind, the breath, the buddhi and the chitta, residing in the 
inspiration and expiration of the breath of all living beings. 
Kaulajnananirnaya, VI, 4-6. 

This is the first English translation of the five limbs, or panchanga, of the aspect 
of Goddess known as Bala Tripura. Bala means "girl", this aspect of the Red 
Goddess is the most highly erotic of Her three aspects, as the 1,000 names show. 
Bala is an adolescent woman, Tripurasundari a mother, and Tripurabhairavi a 
woman in whom menstruation has ceased. 

Bala's root mantra is aim klim sauh and variations of this mantra are used in her 
daily ritual. Many tantrik devatas have manuals structured along similar lines. 
The devata is first visualised as residing in the heart, then later drawn out 
through the breath and "placed" in the yantra. On installation or invocation, 
various ritual accessories are offered, and the 1,000 adjectives (names) of the 
particular deity recited. The Devi is then drawn 'back' into one's heart, and the 
ritual concludes with various elements "cleaning up" the area of worship. 

The five limbs of a ritual panchanga are Patala, Paddhati, Kavacha (Armour), 
1,000 Names, and Stotra. The first gives the unfolding of the mantra, usually in 
coded form. It also describes the meditation image and the yantra of the devata, 
as well as various optional rites. The second limb describes the ritual worship, 
including worship of the avarana or attendants of the devata, which are really 
aspects of the god or goddess. The kavacha is an "armour" used to ward off evil 
and which may either be recited or written and then worn on the body. The 
fourth limb consists of the 1,000 names, of which there are very many sets in the 
tantrik literature. The fifth, the Stotra, is the hymn of praise of the ishtadevata, 
the tutelary devata of a tantrik sadhaka. 

This particular manual comes from the Devirahasya, a large work which 
contains many other panchangas relating to different aspects of Shiva and 


Bala Patala 

Seated on Kailasa Summit is Bhagavan, spouse of Uma, the God with a crescent 
Moon as His diadem, whose eyes are Sun, Moon and Fire, wearing an elephant 
skin, mighty, worshipped by the Gods, bowed to by hosts of Gandharvas, 
mighty Yakshas, and by gods and demons. 

Having recited mantra, and having read sacred texts, rising up and bowing, 
Bhairavi questions the Lord. 

Shri Bhairavi - Lord God, Ocean of Compassion, who reveals all Agamas, by 
Your grace I have heard of all the Vidyas, O Sureshvara. Now I would like to 
hear of Bala Tripurasundari. If this can be spoken of, declare the Vidya, O God 

Shri Bhairava — Listen Devi, I speak of the five Limbed Manual (Panchanga) 
desired by sadhakas, (which consists of) Patala, Paddhati, Armour, 1,000 Names 
and King of Hymns. O Mahadevi, listen one-pointedly. Parameshani, Shri Bala 
is the Goddess bestowing both enjoyment and Liberation. 

Mahadevi, one may give away power, dominion, house and wealth. All these 
may be given away, but one should never give away this thing which is the best 
of all. In the Kali Yuga there is no other Vidya resembling this Vidya. It is said 
that Shri Bala Tripura gives siddhi quickly. 

It should be passed on to peaceful disciples, and to those devoted to their Guru. 
One should not give this Vidya to the unde voted, O Parameshvari. 

1 will speak of the unfolding of the mantra, yantra, prastara, meditation, and the 
rites of the Devi, O Maheshvari. First, Deveshi, listen to the unfolding of the 
Mantra which bestows all fruit. It should be carefully concealed, whoever knows 
it becomes successful (Siddha). 

One should place "Shakti" (Sauh) at the end of Vagbhava" (Aim) and 
"Kamaraja" (Klim), ending this with Namah. O Devi, this is the eight lettered 
Mantra of Bala. (There are) no obstacles, or impurity or restrictions attached to 
it, it causes one to become a Siddha, O Mahadevi, and is the King of Mantras in 
the Kali Yuga. 

Dakshinamurti is the Seer, Pankti is the Metre for pronunciation, the Goddess if 
Tripura-Bala, "Aim" is the Seed, "Sauh" the Shakti. "Klim" is the linchpin. Its 
application is towards Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. 


One should do (six fold) Nyasa on the head, on the mouth, in the heart, on the 
feet, on the navel lotus and in all the limbs, O Devi. 

One should do Nyasa according to the rules doing Seer, Hand and Limb nyasa, 
using the bijas of the mantra, O Maheshvari. 

Now I speak of Her meditation, advantageous for all sadhakas: 

I meditate on Bala, clothed in red, with a digit of the Moon as Her ornament, 
effulgent as the rising sun, with three eyes, holding a book and a rosary, 
showing the gestures of removing fear and giving, seated on a red lotus. 

Having meditated in this way one should repeat the mantra which gives success. 
A pure sadhaka should prepare (the mantra by reciting it) 300,000 times. 

Now I speak of the unfolding of the Yantra of Mahadevi, the Giver of both 
Enjoyment and Liberation, which is very hard to get to know of for any sadhaka. 

Bindu, triangle, eight triangles, eight petals, adorned with three circles and 
enclosed in an earthsquare. This circle of Bala (and Her attendants) is the 
Destroyer of Pain, O Mountain-Born One! 

One should worship the Shaktis of the pedestal when inscribing the Yantra. The 
pedestal Shaktis are Will (Iccha), Knowledge (Jnana), Action (Kriya), Lotus- 
Girl (Kamini), Giver of Sexuality (Kamadayini), Sexual Pleasure (Rati), Loving 
the Bliss of Sexual Pleasure (Ratipriyananda), and Mind-Born (Manonmani) 
lastly. One should place these Shaktis round the pedestal using the mantra 
"Vyoma Parvata Tartiya Sadashiva Mahapadam Pitha Padmasanaya Namah". 
This is the pedestal Mantra. Having put, in order, these 16 syllables around the 
image (Yantra) one should recite the root mantra. 

One should invoke Devi and worship Her with the ritual accessories according 
to the rules. Having invoked the desired Devi in the centre of the yoni, one 
should worship in the triangle, in a similar way Sexual Love (Rati) on the left, 
Pleasure (Priti) on the right, and Mind-Born (Manobhava) at the apex. One 
should worship the six Limbs inside the yoni (i.e. central triangle) starting from 
the South East. 

Outside the central yoni one should worship, from the East, in a clockwise 
direction, the Arrow-Devis. In the eight yoni-triangles one should worship the 
eight Shaktis called Beautiful Bhaga (Bhaga=female sexual organ), Bhaga, 
Nectar of Bhaga, Bhaga adorned with Flowers, Primordial Sexual Pleasure, The 


Flower of Sex, the Girdle of Sex, the Bliss of Sexual Love - these are the eight 

In the filaments of the lotus one should worship Brahmi and so forth, and in the 
petals themselves the (eight) Bhairavas. One should also worship, in the petal 
tips, from the East in a clockwise direction, the Sacred Sites called Kamarupa, 
Malaya, Kaulagiri, Cauhara, Kulantaka, Jalandhara and Oddyana — the eighth 
being Devikuta. 

In the bhupura one should worship in the cardinal directions Heruka, 
Tripurantaka, Vetala, Agnijihva, Kalantaka, Kapalini, Ekapada, Bhimarupa, 
Mala and Hatakeshvara. (Also) in the directions one should worship Indra and 
the others with the (various) weapons. 

Outside of this, in the directions, one should worship Vatuka, the Yoginis, 
Kshetrapala and Ganesha. In the intermediate points one should worship the 
(eight) Vasus, the Sun, and Shiva. One should worship all the elements and then 
the weapons. 

First of all one should meditate on Bala in the embrace of Kameshvara in the 
centre; A Kaula should worship using the five makaras according to the rules of 

The sadhaka skilled in the mantra should worship Mahadevi in the bindu (of the 
yantra) with scent, unhusked rice, flowers, incense, flame and liquid oblation. 
This is called Layanga. 

Listen to the rituals, O Parvati. Whosoever skilled in mantra who does this gains 
a share of success swiftly, it is certain. The (eight rites) are Paralysing, 
Deluding, Killing, Attracting, Subjugating, Driving Away, Peace Making and 

This sadhana is the Quintessence, invisible, Dear One. One should not give this 
to those undevoted to Devi, and should keep it concealed and secret from 

(1) On the first day of the Waxing Moon, Devi, having bathed and done the 
daily rite, one should go to a deserted place at midday. There one should do 
sacrifice by a 10th part using ghee, curd and so forth. One should do oblation to 
the Goddess, then immediately one is free to paralyse, this is certain. 


(2) At dusk, in the cremation ground, one should recite (the mantra) on a seat 
made of owl feathers. One should do much sacrifice and by a tenth part of this 
give ghee, wine, grain, shoots and lotus seeds. Then one may delude the world. 

(3) Having gone in the morning or at night to the place of Ghosts and 
Elementals (Cremation Ground), the mighty Hero should recite the Vidya of 16 
letters in front of a cremation pyre. The mantrin should do much sacrifice of 
ghee, fragrant gums and hairs of chandalas in the burning funeral pyre. (In this 
way) one kills an enemy. 

(4) On an eighth day of the Bright Fortnight the sadhaka should recite (the 
mantra) in secret. Having recited a myriad times using the root Vidya, and 
having meditated, O Charming One, one should do sacrifice of a 10th part 
giving ghee, lac, flowers, menstrual blood, wheat and bamboo shoots. (Then) 
one may attract women. 

(5) Dearest, on a ninth day the ritualist, having bathed and done the daily rite, 
should offer much ghee, fish, eggs, lotus, pearls, and hair of deer. Doing 
sacrifice in this way, O Lady of Heroes, one is able to make people slaves. 

(6) On the fourth Lunar Day of a Dark Fortnight one should recite the mantra at 
the arising of the Moon, Dearest. On a riverbank, seated in Shirsha Asana, the 
Hero should recite the mantra many times. One should sacrifice a 10th part of 
this, giving ghee, blue lotus, cloves, black pepper and tamarind. Then one may 
cause an enemy to flee. 

(7) On a fifth night, O Deveshi, one should recite the mantra a myriad times. 
One should sacrifice a 10th of that and should offer ghee, fish, sugar cane and 
camphor - thus one may calm down great disputes, wars and adversities. 

(8) On a great eighth day (of the dark Lunar fortnight) a person 1 having bathed, 
should do sadhana on the best of pedestals. The hero should recite (the mantra) 
10,000 times and should sacrifice a 10th part of that, giving ghee, camphor, 
grapes, many betel leaves, goat flesh and blood. Then one causes healing to 

This thing which is secret is the form of all, my very Self, O Deveshi, Secret. 
One should conceal it in the Kali Yuga. On Sundays etc. one should recite the 
mantra 10,000 times. Then one becomes Siddha, there should be no doubt about 
this! This celestial chapter is revealed because of Your love. Hide it! It should 
be concealed, hide it as You would conceal Your own yoni. 


Shri Bala Paddhati 

Now I will declare the Paddhati in its spoken form - the essence of Shri Bala 
Tripureshvari, the Giver of Happiness. Having done morning acts those who are 
devoted should worship Devi. This puja is fruitless for those impure at the Three 

Extending from the base of the spine to the top of the head, like a lotus stem, a 
brilliant, white, slender thread, one should meditate on Devi, Giver of 
Subjugation, Great Good Fortune and Eloquence; as surrounded by a swarm of 
black bees; with braided hair garlanded with flowers; with a face marked with a 
jewel as her forehead mark; her mouth sweetly smiling, wearing a beautiful 
diadem; her head adorned with pearls and diamonds; with a slender crescent 
Moon as crest gem; her three bright eyes effulgent as a swarm of sapphire bees; 
with jewelled coiled earrings, the chief of which is as bright as the Sun: 
ornamented with shining pearls and gems of dazzling appearance; around her 
throat a necklace like a line of bees, beautiful and bedazzling, surpassing nectar 
in its beauty; adorned with beautiful and resplendent garments like the white 
water of the Ganga in flood; beautiful, sinuous graceful limbs, scented and sweet 
like creeping vines; covered in gold and by other precious metals, and by 
glistening jewels, glittering and bright; her beautiful feet and toes like red 
lotuses with their petals; as bright as the circle of the starry realm (Nakshatras); 
adorned with pearl-like blossoms; with her lower left hand holding a book and 
her upper right hand dispelling the fears of sadhakas; in her two right hands 
holding a rosary and bestowing boons; She herself being of the dazzling 
whiteness of snow, milk or the Moon; gracious and charming. 

Armour of Shri Bala Tripurasundari 

Shri Bhairavi said - Devadeva, Mahadeva, expander of devotees who please 
You, the Armour of Devi is hidden. Speak of this to Me ! 

Shri Bhairava — Listen Devi, I speak of the Armour difficult to get even for 
gods. One should never reveal this high secret, which gives the wished for 
siddhi to a sadhaka. The Seer of the Armour is Dakshinamurti. Pankti is the 
Metre. The Devi is Tripurasundari. Its application in puja is the four aims of 
Mankind. She wears a pearl diadem, coiled earrings, armlets, a necklace of 
gems; pearl finger rings; effulgent bracelets and other jewels; a golden hip 
girdle, glittering anklets; her navel is adorned with a ruby, and she has a bracelet 
of shells, with a Kala of the Moon on her forehead. She holds a noose, a goad, a 
book and a rosary in her upper hands and the other hands. 


May the Vagbhava Aim protect my head, and the Kamaraja Klim my heart! May 
the Shakti Bija Sauh protect me in my navel, genitals and feet! 

May Aim Klim Sauh protect my face, and Bala shield me in my siddhi! May Ha 
Sa Ka La Hrim Sauh Bhairavi shield my throat, and may Sa Ka La Sundari 
shield me in the region of the navel! 

May Mahatripurasundari shield my brow, and the point between my eyes! 
Subhaga protect my forehead! Bhaga shield my throat! Bhagodevi protect my 
heart! Bhagasarpini, shield my belly! 

Bhagamala, shield my navel ! Manobhava, protect my penis ! May the auspicious 
Lady, the Queen of Queens, the Mahadevi, shield my anus! 

Mother of the Cosmos (Jagad Ambika), form of Consciousness, protect my feet! 
Narayani, protect me at night! Shubhankari shield me in all my actions! 

May Brahmani protect me in the East, and Vaishnavi in the South! May Varahi 
protect me in the West, and Maheshvari in the North! May Kaumari protect me 
in the South East, and Mahalakshmi in the South West! May Chamunda protect 
me in the North West, and Indrani in the North East! 

Mahamaya, protect me in Water! Sarvamangala, shield me in Earth! Varada, 
protect me in Aether! Bhuvaneshvari, protect me everywhere! 

This Armour is called "Names of the Goddess" and is hard to obtain! The pure 
person with concentrated mind should arise and recite it at dawn. 

Whoever does it knows no fear or disease. Nor is he afraid of death or anxious 
about sin. He is never poor, nor is he vanquished by death. He dwells in the 
realm of Shiva, O Devi. I say to You that this is most certainly true. 

O Auspicious One, whosoever should recite this Armour having not been 
initiated into Shri Vidya gains no fruit, but is struck by lightning. 

The Thousand Names of Bala 

Shri Devi - Shri Natha Shankara, Bliss-Maker, speak! O Lord God, how may 
one obtain the yoga-power of full devotion, O Ocean of Wine 1 If You have 
compassion for Me Shambhu, reveal that which is well-hidden! 

Shri Bhairava — By devotion to Shakti one comes to know the entire vermilion 
ocean of Bliss, the hidden essence of Bala. Dear One, I will speak to You of Her 


1,000 Names. One should well hide it, O One with Thighs like Plantain Stems, it 
is revealed out of deep and amorous affection for You. Whoever meditates on 
how Devi is hymned immediately gains the whole mass of happiness, and is the 
cause of Knowledge. 

(Of this 1,000 Name-Hymn of Shri Bala Sundari, Bhargava is the Seer, 
Anushtubh is the Metre, Shri Bala Tripura is the Devata. Aim is the Seed, Sauh 
is the Shakti, Klim the linchpin. The application by reading it are the four aims 
of Mankind. 

Rishi Nyasa :Hail to Bhargava the Seer on the head; Hail to Anushtubh the 
Metre on the mouth; Hail to Shri Bala the Devata in the heart; Hail to the Seed 
Aim in the genitals; Hail to the Shakti Sauh on the feet; Hail to the Linchpin 
Klim on the navel; Hail to the Application on all the limbs. 

Aim hail to the thumbs; Klim obeisance to the index fingers; Sauh hail to the 
middle fingers; Aim hail to the ring fingers; Klim hail to the little fingers; Sauh 
to the front and backs of the hands hail Thus the heart and other Nyasa are 
related. Meditation-) 

Wearing red clothes, with a Kala of the Moon as Her ornament, effulgent as the 
rising Sun, holding Book and Rosary, bestowing boons and banishing fears, I 
meditate on Bala on the Red Lotus. 

Pleasing and Supremely Blissful Vermilion One. Ultimate Treasure of the Path 
of Devotion. Deep Left Thing. Manifestation of the Elements. Shankari. Shiva. 

Boon Giver of Erotic Form. Essence. Auspicious Sphere of Action. Ocean of 
Ultimate Bliss. Passionate. Actress. Graceful One. 

Kala of Sexual Play the Colour of Blossom. Dalliance. Absolute. Kala. 

Suitable Essence. Creeper Granting All Wishes. Eager-Goddess. Playing with 
Love's Arrow. Truly Affectionate. Lovely Sweet Form. 

Effulgent as 10,000,000 Suns. Cool as 10,000,000 Moons. Arrow Limbed One 
Shedding Nectar. Means by which Heaven is Attained. 

Gazelle Eyed. Charming. Walking Beautifully. Happy and Peaceful One. 
Empress. Queen. Worshipped by Mahendra. 

Lady Moving in the Cosmos. Ultimate Mover in the Cosmos. With Dishevelled 
Clothing. Irresistible Shakti. With Tinkling Golden Anklets. 


With Breasts like the Paradise Tree on Mount Mem. Bearing Goad and Noose as 
Weapons and Giving Boons. Holding Arrows and Sugar Cane Bow in Her Two 
Beautiful Hands, 

Face like the Disc of the Moon. With a Beautiful Crest Gem like a Little Moon. 
Having a Vermilion Forehead Mark. Her Lovely Braided Hair adorned with 

Rejoicing in a Garland of Coral Tree Blossoms. Adorned with a Garland of 
Gems. Fond of Gold Ornaments. Having a Beautiful Pearl Necklace. 

Her Mouth is Full of Tambula. Her Mind is Filled with Sexual Bliss. Pleasing 
and Happy. Essence of Passion. Supremely Compassionate. Lady of Treasure. 

An Effulgent Gem sits between Her Breasts. Intoxicated with Wine-Essence. 
Having a Mantra which is the Self of Bindu and Nada. Form of the Fourth. 

The Lovely Giver of Happiness. Shankari. Fond of Blossoms. The Universe. 
Complete. Dweller in the Purna Pitha. 

Rajyalakshmi. Shri Lakshmi. Mahalakshmi. Beautiful Queen. Santoshima. 
Excellence. Gold Vessel. Light. 

All-complete. Supporter of the Cosmos. Creatrix. Increasor of Strength. 
Magnificence of all Earthly Kings. Mother Ruling All. 

Lotus-Eyed One. One Gazing Long. Clear Eyed One. Flow of Love. Taste. 
[100] Chief One. Essence Body. 

Vermilion Essence. Moving Gracefully. Colour of Pollen. Mad with Bliss in 
Sexual Intercourse. Inmost Quality. Self of Shakti. 

Eyes Full of Love. Charming. Goddess of Love. Lovely Bhaga (Female 
Genitals). Beautiful Bhaga. Taking Pleasure. To be Enjoyed. Giver of Fortune. 
Lovely. Bhaga. 

Kala of the Bliss of Yoni and Linga. Dwelling in the centre of the Bhaga. Form 
of Bhaga. Consisting of Bhaga. Bhaga Yantra. Highest Bhaga. 

Yoni Mudra. Kamakala. Essence of Kula Nectar. Fire of the Kula Kunda. 
Subtle. Jivatma. Form of the Linga. Root Cause. Root Form. True Form of Root 
Action. Longing For It. Lotus-Bliss. Self Dissolved in Consciousness 
Meditation. Beneficent. 


White and Red. Form of Bindu. Yoni which is the Sound of Knowledge. Sound 
of 10,000,000 Bells. Humming One. The Marvellous Risen Disc of the Sun. 
Dissolved in Sound. Completely Full. Place of Fullness. Many-Bodied. 

Golden Music. Hereditary Music. Sound of the Drum. Garland of Letters. 
Siddhi-Kala. Dwelling in the Six Chakras. Sexually Playing in the Muladhara. 
Svadisthana. Dwelling in the fourth. 

Situated in the Manipura. Loved. Essence of the Tortoise Chakra. Like a Flame 

in the Anahata. Made of Gems. 

Vishuddha. Pure Sound. Residing in the Awakened Being. Song. Situated in the 
Ajna Lotus. Emanatrix. Skilful. Triple Circle. 

Little Moon. Splendid as 10,000,000 Moons. Shining like 10,000,000 Suns. 
Shadow of the Ruby Red Lotus. Consisting of Eternity and Joy. Shining. 

Auspicious Liquor. Very Beloved. Still and Joyful Nectar. Charming Limbed 
One Rejoicing in Intercourse. Having Sweet Nectar. 

Seated on a Great Pedestal. Satisfied. Wild. Beautiful in Bearing. Drenched in a 
Shower of Nectar. Expanding Ocean of Redness. 

Very Red. Fond of Moistness. Wearing Innumerable Earrings and Removing 
Fear. Excellent Oral Lore. Encircled by Countless Flowers and Fruit. 

Dear. Auspicious. Beloved of Shiva. Shankari. Shambhavi. Powerful. Self 
Created. Beloved of the Self. Partner. One's Own. Mother Matrika. 

Vowel-Being. Refuge. Chaste. Highest Being and Origin of Wine. Fortunate 
Gladdener. Respected. Devoted to All Good Fortune. 

Lucky. Slender Thread. Maiden. Bright as a Fragment of a Half Moon. Beautiful 
Slender Creeper. Dear One. Wicked Deed. Evil Spell. 

Gazelle Eyed. Excited Eyed. Sharp. Intoxicated with Wine Nectar. Delighted by 
Intoxicating Liquor. Beauteous as Madira Wine. 

Pleased by Kadamba Wine. Handsome. Delighted. Rejoicing in Sideways 
Glances. One with Slowly Turned Down Eyes Gazing Long and Sweetly. 
Destroyer of the Family of Demons. Radiant Nectar of Sexual Desire. Suvasini. 
One with Rounded Body. One With Breasts Heavy with Milk. 


Truly Beautiful. With Teeth Like Little Pearls. With a Halo. Radiant Mouth. Her 
Lips Like Tender Shoots. Her Nose Like the Tip of a Til Blossom. Her Forehead 
Shining Like Gold. With a Face like the Full Moon. With a Young Moon as Her 
Shining Diadem. 

Her Lively Eyes Smeared with Orpiment. Her Ears Like Blossoming Flowers. 
Each Ear like Half a Leaf and resembling a New Moon. With the Sun as a Gem 
in Her Diadem. 

Her Gold Earrings Studded with Gems. With Coiled and Begemmed Earrings. 
Very Beautiful Cheeks. With a Shell-Like Neck. Wearing Alluring Gems. 

Wearing a Pearl Necklace which is Like the Ganges in Flood and Her Voice 
Like a Bird. Her Limbs Extending Like Many Lotus Roots. Carrying Noose, 
Goad and Bow. With Bracelets Entwined Round Her Clothes. Adorned with 
Various Beautiful Jewels. Her Lotus Hands the Colour of Copper and Her 
Lovely Nails Shining like Gems. 

Her Fingers Adorned with Jewels with Beautiful Lines between Her Fingers. 
Her Two Beautiful Breasts Like the Mandara Tree. The Hair of Her Pubic 
Region like a Line of Serpents. Her Womanly Deep Navel Encircled by Three 
Lines. Very Slender of Waist. 

Wearing a Breast Plate for Battle. Wearing a Beautiful Waist Cloth. Her 
Buttocks Like the Brows of an Elephant. Her Two Thighs Close Together Like 
the Cheeks of an Elephant. Her Beautiful Knees and Legs like Unworldly and 
Bright Paradise Trees. 

With Hidden Ankles. Her Anklets Adorned with Gems and Making a Charming 
Ringing Sound. Her Two Feet Meditated on by Yogis. Ocean of Wine Nectar. 

Vermilion Ocean. With a Vermilion Forehead Mark. Adorned with Dishevelled 
Hair. Perfect Nectar. Truly Wise. Intelligent. Most Beautiful of Divinities. 

Like a Row of Scarlet Rays From a Dawn Sun. Beloved Cow of Heaven. 
Padmini of the Essence of Nectar. Stream of Rasa. 

The Beautiful and Ever-present Boon Giving One. Autumnal. Giving True 
Fortune. Dear to Nataraja. Cosmic Dancer. Male and Female Dancer. 

Brightly Coloured Yantra. Web of Consciousness. Knowledge Vine. Chief 
Thing. Dwelling in the Forehead. five-Sectioned One. Panchami. 


four-Sectioned One. Tripartite Primordial One. Six-Sectioned One. Worshipped 
in the Vedas. Having 16 Sections. The Fourth. Supreme Kala. Shodashi. 
Goddess of Mantra and Yantra. Mem Circle. 

Sixteen Lettered One. Three Lettered One. True Form of Bindu Nada. 

Above the Letters. Mother of the Letters. Great Happiness Who is the Absolute 
as Sound. Consciousness Vine. Being with Sections. Kameshi. To Be Seen in 

Goddess of Dream. Goddess of Awakened Intelligence. Refuge of the Watchful 
in the Waking State. Abode of Dream. Deep Sleep. Free from Idleness. Spring 
Creeper of Fragrant White Flowers (Madhavi). 

Lopamudra. Queen of Kama. Daughter of Man. Worshipped by Lords of 
Wealth. Shakambhari. Nandi Vidya. Garland of Light Emanating Blossoms. 

Mahendri. Served in Heaven. Oral Lore. Refuge of the Best Sadhakas. Chaste. 
Truly Good. Siddhi Cave. 

Lady of the Three Cities. Worshipped by Conquerors of Cities. City Devata. 
Satisfied Destructrix of Obstacles. Without Qualities. Worshipped by the 
Celestial Cow. 

Golden Mother. Lady of Hosts. Secret Mother. With Beautiful Buttocks. Giving 
Birth to All. Liberation. Initiation. Initiated Matrika. 

Mother of Sadhakas. Mother of Siddhas. Most Powerful Wizardess. Deluding 
the Mind. Youthful and Intoxicated. Exalted. Her Beautiful Buttocks Swaying 

Dwelling in the Red and Blue Lotus. Smeared with Red and Adorned with Red 
Gems. Wearing a Pure Red Rosary. With a Very Beautiful Peacock Feather 
Crest aim. Satisfied by Kings. Waving Peacock Plumes. Perfume Diffusing in 
the Cosmos. Earth. Fragrance. Giver of Sexual Love. Beloved. Giving Success 
in Love to Those Seeking Love. 

Nandini. Lakshanavati. Devata Resorted to by (Rishi) Vasishta. Devi of Goloka. 
Protectress of Shri Goloka and all the Worlds. Giver of the Fruits of Sacrifice. 
Mother of the Gods. Giving Boons to Gods. 

Partner of Rudra. Auspicious Mother. Wide Expanse of the Ocean of Nectar. 


Dakshina. Form of Sacrifice. True Maiden. Rejoicing in Resolution. Dwelling in 
the Ocean Full of Milk. Pure Yoni. Beautiful Eyed. Dwelling in Beauty. Truly 
Served. Dissolved in Beautiful Scents. True in Actions. Beautiful Tripura. With 
Beautiful Breasts. With the Breasts of a Young Maiden. 

Menstruating Girl. Showing Her Menses. Colourful One. With a Bright Garland. 
Liking Red. Very Red. True Form of Love Making. Mother of Menses and 
Semen. Intent on Sex Play. Coming in Love Making. 

Cry of Orgasm. Self of all Love Play. Life of the Gods. Bliss of Svayambhu 
Menses. Fond of Svayambhu Menses. Pleased and Satisfied by Svayambhu 
Menses. Cause of Creation of the Beautiful Svayambhu Menses. Place of 
Svayambhu Menses. Shakti Hole. All Love Dalliance is Her True and Sacred 

Very Inner Whore. Duti. Artful. Pleased by Worship. Kullika. Dwelling in a 
Yantra. Dwelling in a Yoga Pedestal. With Beautiful Body. Form of the 
Quintessence. Having All Characteristics. 

Wearing Various Beautiful Jewels. Worshipped With Five Arrows. Residing in 
the Upper Trikona. Bala. Kameshvari. 

Worshipped by Hosts. Worshipped by Kulas. Lakshmi. Sarasvati. Pleased by 
Spring. Beloved. Having Gems on Her Breasts. 

Bearing a Kala on Her Head. Her Feet Causing Growth. Residing in Kalas. Fond 
of Flowers. Wearing Flowers. Deludress of Love. 

Intoxicated with Sexual Desire. Mohini. Kalas of the Moon. Shoshini. Vashini. 
Rajini. Subhaga. Bhaga. Pusha. Vasha. Sumana. Rati. Priti. Dhriti. Riddhi. 
Benefic. With a Garland of Rays. With Parts. 

Moon. True Shadow. Rising Full Moon. Satisfied. Full Amrita. Dwelling in the 
Female Sex Organ Yantra. 

Residing in the Linga Yantra. [500] Body of Shambhu. Yogini of Sexual 
Intercourse. Wine Goddess. Body of Bija. Steady. Dear to Sadhakas. 

Self of the King of Bija. Giver of Dominion and Happiness. Giver of Desires. 
Shakti of Menses and Semen. Knower of Shiva' s Semen. All Nectar. Consisting 
of Nectar. Consisting of Shiva and Shakti. Lady. 


Dwelling in the Bliss of Love Making. The Matrika Fond of Love Making. Bliss 
of the Flowers of Sexual Intercourse. Lovemaking. Expander of Yoga. State of 
Happiness in Sexual Intercourse. Served by Unified Consciousness-Bliss. 

True Form of the Substances Used in Offering and Giver of Success in Worship. 
Samarasya. Supreme One Female Form Fond of Love-Making. 

Messenger of Knowledge. Accessible to Knowledge. Origin of Knowledge. 
Abode of Shiva. Consciousness- Kala. Knowledge With All its Parts. True Kula. 
Beautiful Self of Kula. 

Four Kalas. Very Subtle Lotus Girl (Padmini). Supreme Being. Dwelling in the 
Play of Hamsa. Shadowy One. Emanatrix of the Two Parts of Hamsa. 

Free from Passion. Liberation Kala. Supreme Being Indwelling in Kalas. Very 
Self Situated in Vidya Kala. Dweller in the Four Kalas. The Vidya Making All 
Content. Pleased One. The Light of the Supreme Absolute. The Supreme 
Paramatma. Dissolved in Things. The Fourfold Shakti. 

The Diffusion of Shanta and Bodha Kalas. The Kala and Inner Essence of the 
Highest Knowledge. Pashyanti. Supreme Quintessence. The Inner Atma without 
Parts Known as Akula. 

Madhyama. Vaikhari. The Bliss of Atma Kala. Dweller in Kalas. Tarini. Swift 
One (Tarani). Tara. Knower of the Inner Core Dissolved in the Shiva Linga. 

Mover in the Ultimate Good. Delighting in the Bliss of the Absolute. Intoxicated 
with Rasa. Highest Rasa. Successful. Fond of Success. Uma. 

Fond of All Castes. Increasor of the Bliss of Yogis and Yoginis. Bestower of the 
Heroic Frame of Mind. Celestial One. Giver of True Heroism to Heroes. 

Great Giver of the Heroic Mood to Pashus. One Whose Head is Bathed. Queen 
Shri. The Ultimate Matrika of Warriors. 

Skilled in Sword and Missile. Grace. Essence Place. Enlivening in Battle. 
Victorious. Yogini. Pilgrimage. Crusher of Great Armies. Full. [600] Goddess of 
Wealth. Wealth. Provided with Great Hoards of Treasure. 

Dwelling in Heaps of Gems. Jewel. Abiding in Necklaces of Gems. Mahishi. 
Worshipped by Kings. With Hosts. Bearing Hosts. Creatrix. Prostitute. 
Attainable by Yoga. Mallasena. Female Foot Soldier. Battle Array. Brave in 
Love. Banner. Dwelling in the Banner. 


Beautiful Parasol. Little Mother. Mother (Amba). Fragrant. Moving in sadhana. 
Acting like Kings Act. Consisting of Brahmins and Kshatriyas. Dwelling in 
Moon and Sun. Fond of Her Priests. Chaste One. Brahmin Girl. Multitude of 

Supreme Wine of the Moon. Origin of All. Burning One. Patient One. Opposing 
Evil. Bearer of All. Creatrix of All. Origin. Moving in Eternity. Gayatri. 
Attainable by Knowledge. Initiated. Giving the Wished For Goal. 

Dwelling in the Cosmos Like Jewelled Rays. Life of the Universe. Giver of 
Success in the Field. Augmentor of All. Little Usurer. 

Support of Kula. One who Extends Herself Beautifully. Mind's Delusion. 
Refuge. Pure. Dwelling in the Twice Born. Doer of Actions. Worshipped in 

Going Under Various Guises. Bala. Wanton. Consisting of Kalas. With 
Beautiful Ears. Highest of All. Freer from Difficulties. 

Durga. Staying in the Vindhya Forest. Beloved of the God of Love. Pacifier. 
Black One. Protectress. Intoxicated with Rasa. 

Appeaser of Those Fallen From the Three Rules of Conduct. Bestower of 
Complete Happiness. Little Moon of the Cosmic Pleasure Garden. Giver of 
Happiness to the Multitude of Siddhas. Worshipped by Hosts of Yoginis. 

Body of the Sixteen Nityas. Kameshi. Bhagamalini. Nityaklinna. Bherunda. 
Vahni-Mandala-Vasini. Mahavidyeshvari Nitya. Shiva Duti. 

Tvarita. Kula Sundari. Nitya. Nilapataka. Vijaya. Sarvamangala. Jvalamala. 
[700] Vichitra. Mahatripurasundari. 

Host of Gurus. Supreme Guru. Lady Prakashananda. Form of Shivanandanath. 
True Form of Shaktyanandanath. Consisting of Devi-Anandanath. Lady 
Kaulesha Anandanath. Form of the Divyaugha. Lady Samaya Anandanath. Lady 
Shukla Devi Ananda Nath. Kulesha Ananda Nathini. 

Body of Klinnanga Ananda (Nath). Samaya Ananda Nathini. Consisting of Veda 
Ananda Nath. Sahaja Ananda Nathini. 

Body of the Siddha Augha. Body of the Highest Guru. Gagana Ananda 
(Nathini). Vishva Ananda Nathini. Vimala Ananda Nathini. Madana Ananda 


Nathini. Primordial Lady of the Worlds. Primordial Playful One. Nandana 
Ananda Nathini. Body of Sva Atma Ananda. Priya Ananda Nathini. 

Self of the Manava Augha Gurus. Lady of the Gurus of the Gurus. Ultimate 
Secret. Guru Shakti. Fond of Those Who Sing the Praises of Their Own Guru. 
Known as Bewilderer of the Three Worlds. All Encompassing and Complete 

All-Bewildering One. Residing in the Eastern Amnaya. Shiva-Shakti. 
Auspicious (Shiva) Shakti. Dwelling in Three Shiva Chakras. Known as the 
Giver of All Great Good Fortune. Giver of All Desires to Sadhakas. Called the 
All Protecting One. Devata of the Southern Amnaya. 

Dwelling in the Centre of the Disc of the Sun. Devata of the Western Amnaya. 
Creating and Indwelling the Nine Chakras. Devata of the Northern Amnaya. 
Worshipped by Kubera. Origin of Kula. Residing in the Exalted Kula Amnaya. 

Making and Dwelling in the Bindu Chakra. Lady of the Central Lion Throne. 

Shri Vidya. Mahalakshmi. Lakshmi. Self of the Three Shaktis. Lakshmi Giving 
All Dominion. Pancha Lakshmi. Shrividya. Supreme Light Source. Supreme 
Shambhavi Without Parts. Matrika. Panchakoshi. Shrividya Tvarita. 

Parijateshvari. Trikuta. Panchabaneshi. Panchakalpalata. Pancha Vidya. Source 
of Amrita. Wine. Lovely Lady. Annapurna. Cow of Plenty. Shri Vidya. Siddha 
Lakshmi. Matangi. Bhuvaneshvari. Varahi. Pancharatneshvari. One Who Dwells 
in the Letters of Matrika. Supreme Effulgence. In the Form of All Words. 
Aindri. Desire. 

Own Lady. Vision of Shakti. Seed of the Sun. Having the Body of Brahma. 
Having the Body of Shiva. Having the Body of Vishnu. Residing in the Wheel 
of Creation. Having the Body of the Sun. Dissolved in the Chakra of Places. 
Having the Body of Mercury. Mahatripurasundari. 

True Form of Tattva and Mudra. Pleasant One. [800] Knowledge Mudra. 
Satisfied by All Ritual Accessories. Dwelling in the Heart. Divinity of the Head. 
Divinity of the Top of the Head. The Absolute. With Amorous Three Eyes. 

Dwelling in the Missile. Four Square One. Dwelling at the Doors. Dwelling in 
Each Door. Anima in the West. Laghima in the North. Mahima in the East. 
Ishitva Divinity of the Southern Door. Vashitva in the North West. Prakamya in 
the North East. Bhukti in the South East. Iccha in the South West. 


Brahmi. Maheshvari. Kaumari. Vaishnavi. Varahi. Aindri. Chamunda. 
Mahalakshmi. Dwelling in the Ten Parts. 

Kshobhini. Dravini Mudra. Akarshana. Unmadana. Mahankusha. Khechari. 
Bija. Yoni Mudra. 

Dwelling in the Sarvashapura Chakra. Cause of Successful Siddhi. 
Kamakarshini Shakti. Buddhi Akarshana. Ahankara Karshini. Shabda 
Akarshana. Sparsha Akarshana. Rupa Akarshana. Rasa Akarshana. Gandha 
Akarshana. Chitta Akarshana. Dhairya Akarshana. Smritya Akarshana. Bija 
Akarshana. Amrita Akarshini. Nama Akarshini. Sharira Akarshinidevi. Atma 
Akarshana. Form of the Sixteen Vowels. Temple of the Flow of Nectar. 
Tripureshi. Form of Siddha. Dwelling in the Sixteen Petals. 

Queen of the All Agitating Chakra. Lady of the Guptatara Shaktis. Ananga 
Kusuma Shakti. Ananga Kati Mekhala. Ananga Madana. Ananga Madanatura. 
Ananga Rekha. Ananga Vega. Anangankusha. Ananga Malini. Shakti of the 
Eight Divisions of the Alphabet. 

Making and Dwelling in the Eight Petals. Shrimat Tripurasundari. Giver of all 
Happiness & Dominion. Lady giving Great Good Fortune. Lady of the 
Sampradaya. Cause of All Agitation. Causing All to Flee. Attractor of All. 
Shakti Gladdening All. Shakti causing Crushing. Shakti causing all Paralysis. 
Shakti causing All Delusion. Shakti causing All Subjugation. Shakti who gives 
Colour to All and Everything. Shakti causing Sexual Awakening. Shakti giving 
the Fruit of All Desires. Shakti giving All Wealth. Shakti consisting of Mantra. 
Shakti causing the Dualities to Disappear. [900] 

Siddhi-Tripura-Vasini. Lady giving All Desires to a Sadhaka. Lady giving the 
Fruit of All Actions. Lady of the fourteen Angle Chakra. Devi giving All Siddhi. 
Giver of All Prosperity. Shakti Beloved of All. Cause of All Good Fortune. 

Full of All Sexual Desire. Liberator from All Sorrow. Alleviator of All Death. 
Destructress of All Obstacles. Devi Beautiful in All Limbs. Giver of All Great 
Good Fortune. 

Tripureshi. Giver of All Siddhi. Dwelling in the Ten Triangles. Lady Bestowing 
All Protection. Nigarbha Yogini. Knowing All. Shaktii of All. Giver of All 
Dominion. Devi Consisting of All Knowledge. Destroyer of All Ailments. True 
Form of All Adharas. Destroyer of All Evil. Devi made of All Bliss. True Form 
of All Protection. Mahima Shakti Devi. 


Devi Giving All. Lady Residing in the Inner Ten Angles. Devi Tripura Malini. 
Lady Destroying All Disease. Rahasya Yogini. Vagdevi. Vashini. Devi 
Kameshvari. Modini. Vimala. Aruna. Jayini. Sarveshvari. Kaulini. Giver of 
Siddhi in the eight Angles. 

Lady who gives All Love. Parapararahasya. Dweller in the Square & Trikona. 
Self of All Dominion Who consists of the Weapons. Kameshvari Arrow Form. 
Kameshi Bow Form. Kameshi Noose Form. Kameshi Goad Form. 

Kameshvari the Indra Shakti. Residing in the Sphere of Fire. Presiding Devi of 
Kamagiri. Going in the Lowermost Angle of the Triangle. 

Lady Dwelling in the Rightmost Angle. Vishnu Shakti at Jalandhara. Residing 
in the Sphere of the Sun. Rudra Shakti in the Leftmost Angle. Brahma Shakti in 
the Sphere of the Moon. Anuragini Dwelling at Purnagiri. Auspicious Lady of 
the Sphere of the Triangle. Tripura- Atma-Maheshvari. 

Lady Residing in the Sphere of All Bliss. Secret One Dwelling in the Bindu. 
Supreme True Form of the Absolute. Mahatripurasundari. Dwelling Within All 
Chakras. Chief of the Whole of the Chakras. Lady of All Chakras. Lady of All 
Mantras. Lady of All Vidyas. Lady of All Speech. All Yogeshvari. Undivided 
Lady holding Dominion over All Pithas. Sarva-Kameshvari. Lady of All Tattvas 
and Dominions. Shakti. Shakti with Eyes Intoxicated with Bliss. Without 
Duality. Womb of the Dualities. 

Unextended in the Cosmos. Mahamaya. Extended in the Cosmos. Dweller in 
Herself. Supporter of All Manifestation in the Cosmos. Ultimate Bliss Sundari. 

Thus the celestial cause of Supreme Bliss has been declared, the Salt Vermilion 
Waves of Bala giving all satisfaction. O Parvati, of all sets of 1,000 names in the 
tantras, this is the quintessence. 

Dearest, this hymn may be recited at all times, at night, and during puja in the 
morning. When Bala, the Giver of All Dominion and Happiness, is pleased, She 
bestows jewels of various kinds, wealth, and (answers all) requests. O 
Parameshvari, She bestows whatever desires a person has, and sons and 
daughters are born if one wishes it. 

Enemies are destroyed, ailments are alleviated. If in a difficult situation, things 
are eased, medicines are bestowed on one. This bestows beautiful palaces, 
pictures, and all dominion. For a person, agriculture bestows rich harvests, and 
the heavenly cow seems to dwell for him on earth. His country prospers, and his 


state is not afflicted with calamities. Great elephants shower him with streams of 

He dwells happily in palaces, surrounded by gems and horses. His offspring 
become rulers, free from strife, ministers of the king. Those known to him 
please him, he becomes noble and very beautiful, wealthy, always in a good 
position, alluring. Spoken speech and verse musically flow from him, like the 
Ganges in flood. He becomes able to expound the various meanings of various 
verses, becoming skilled in the entire essence of all, successful, his speech like 
gracious blossoms. 

Shastras unknown to him are constantly revealed. Those with faults who would 
attack him become fearful, they sing adoringly of him, like slaves before a king. 
Swords and missiles hurt not his limbs. Women of all classes become 
completely subjugated by him. Poison becomes like wine-nectar for him. The 
host of opponents are paralysed, and his enemy crushed, if the knower of Yoga 
should continually practise for a period of nine nights. 

If he should recite day and night, without idleness, he becomes peaceful of 
mind, and all created things in all the worlds become subject to him, there is no 
doubt of it. 

If one should perform the yoga continually for six months, one becomes the 
(very essence of) Yogamaya, without question. Whosoever reads this ultimate 
hymn whilst meditating on Kamakala has women in a state of subjugation 
seeking him, intoxicated with sexual desire, beautiful, mad with lust, with 
beautiful enraptured eyes. He knows satiety of love through feminine desire, in 
this act of subjugation. 

On a fortunate day, having written the yantra of Devi on birch-bark, colouring it 
with rochana, kumkum, lac, red dye, or sunflowers, making the womb of the 
yantra (triangle) of gold or silver hue, very alluring, one should awaken Bala, 
having worshipped and established Her. If one should then carry this on one 's 
head, throat, shoulder, or near to one's heart or navel, one becomes wealthy, 
victorious, and gains love. 

There is nothing greater than this in the three Worlds for protection, most 
certainly. Planets, diseases, and so forth, anxieties, are all banished, one gains 
happiness and health, it is the cause of strength and virility, and destroys cruel 
elements and enemies. 

It gives sons, daughters, increases a host of qualities, gives wealth and grain. In 
whichever city this best of sadhaka dwells, whilst bearing Her, wealth is gained. 


In whichever dwelling this stotra is placed and written out, O Varanana, there I - 
Shiva, Hari and Kamala always dwell, and it is as if all the sacred waters spring 
from this place. 

If the best of sadhakas should recite and read this devotedly he knows 
Knowledge, Bliss and Unity. O Deveshi, by reading this hymn, one gains the 
fruit of worship. One should recite it very carefully having established oneself in 
the six fold Nyasa. In the best of all tantras is the puja of Bala. There the 16 
letters are the greatest thing. This, the best of all hymns, is found there. 

O Sundari, one should never give this to those who are not pupils, the impure, 
fraudulent, and indolent, who make no efforts, the unde voted, those deficient of 
Vishnu bhakti, the unstable or the stupid. It should be given to those who are 
devoted, as it is the cause of liberation, and augments devotion. O Varanana, 
whilst engaging in sexual intercourse (Latayoga), one may read the hymn. One 
becomes like the Aeon Creeper (Kalpalata), and the fruit of one's desires are 

If a sadhaka should steadily recite this whilst in Latayoga, offering blossoms to 
the gazelle-eyed (partner), he is blessed with the results of 100 sacrifices 
(Yajna). O Deveshi, Brahma and the other (devatas) worship his feet, he himself 
becomes like Shiva — that discriminating person who is attached to devotion to 
Bala. He becomes one with the Bliss of the Absolute, Jyotsna, in the state of 

Shri Bala Stotra 

Shri Bhairava said - Parvati, now I speak of the Hymn of Devi Bala. Having 
heard the secret Panchanga, one should always conceal it. 

(Dakshinamurti is the Rishi of this stotra-mantra of Shri Bala Tripurasundari; 
Pankti is the Metre; Shri Bala Tripurasundari is the Devata; Aim is the Bija; 
Sauh is the Shakti; Klim is the Kilaka; its application when reciting it is pleasing 
Shri Bala. 

Hail to Dakshinamurti on the head 

Hail to the Metre Pankti on the mouth 

Hail to the Devata Shri Bala in the heart 

Hail to the Bija Aim on the navel 

Hail to the Shakti Sauh on the genitals 

Hail to the Linchpin Klim on the feet 

Hail to the Application when Reciting on all limbs 


Aim to the heart obeisance 
Klim to the head 
Sauh to the peak 
Aim to the armour 
Klim to the eyes 
Sauh to the missile 

Aim to the thumbs hail 

Klim to the index fingers 

Sauh to the middle fingers 

Aim to the ring fingers 

Klim to the little fingers 

Sauh to the front and back of the hands 


Like the coloured red rays of the Sun shining brightly through red dust, the 
colour of the Japa rose, holding book, dispelling fear, and in Her other hands 
giving boons and holding a fully blossomed white water lotus. Thus one should 
establish in one's heart the eternally beautiful form Bala. 

One should recite Aim, O Tripura Bhavani. One becomes greater than God or 
Guru, and has dominion and so forth of the partner of the Lord of the 

Within the course of one day, one should recite the King of Your Mantras 
known as the triple syllable Kamaraja, that of Kameshvari. The person initiated 
in Kula should worship the earthly and most beautiful and alluring courtesan. 

One should recite Sauh, O Tripura, Mother of the three Worlds! You Who 
Manifest, Play, and bring all to Completion, the core of the Absolute 
(Brahmapada), Self-Existent! One should worship in the rectangle, the circles, 
the eight petalled lotus, within the city of the lotus of six petals, worshipping 
Bala in the Bindu Pitha, in order to become greater than Shiva. 

Whosoever should recite this hymn of Tripura, which consists of mantra, at 
night or at dawn, becomes garlanded (praised) on earth and in three days 
becomes equal to Shukra, Saura and Lakshmi. 


Thus this stotra of Devi Bala, consisting of ultimate Mantra, is revealed. One 
should not give it to the undevoted, and should conceal it as if it were Your own 

Bhavana Upanishad and Prayoga 

She is the ultimate unified Shakti, the Parameshvari, triple Tripura, the very self 
of Brahma, Vishnu and Isha, the being who is Jnana Shakti, Kriya Shakti and 
Iccha Shakti. - Vamakeshvaratantra 4, 10-11 

This is a seminal upanishad of the Shri Vidya tradition. Here, the text is 
translated along with the prayoga, or ritual application, composed by 
Bhaskararaya Machin, for the first time. The verses of the upanishad are in bold 
and any notes are italicised. Refer to the Shri Yantra to follow the meditation 
from the outside to the centre. The mantra on the top left is the bija Shrim. 

Om. Peace and Good Fortune be to those who hear this! 

1. Shri Guru is Shakti from Whom all the elements are created. 

(The wise man) should bow, using the root mantra, and having done Rishi 
Nyasa should say, having touched the 1000 petalled lotus: Hail to the 
Continuous Consciousness-Shakti Form, the Sushumna Self, Shri Guru. 

The root mantra is the fifteen-syllable mantra ofLalita: Ka E I La Hrim, Ha Sa 
Ka Ha La Hrim, Sa Ka La Hrim. Rishi Nyasa is the sixfold nyasa preceding 
most tantrika rites. The 1000 petalled lotus, here above the head. The self of 
Sushumna, that is to say running from the base of the spine to the top of the 

2. Of this (Shakti) the body, with its nine orifices, is the form. 

Hail to Payashvini, Prakashananda Nath, on the right ear. Shankhini, 
Vimarshananda Nath, on the left ear. Sarasvati, to Shri Ananda Nath, on the 
tongue. Pusha, to Jnanananda Nath, on the right eye. Gandhari, to Satyananda 
Nath, on the left eye. Kuhu, to Purnananda Nath, on the penis. Pingala, to 
Svabhavanda Nath, on the right nostril. Ida, to Pratibhananda Nath, on the left 
nostril. Alambusha, to Subhagananda Nath, on the anus. 

These are the Nine Nathas placed on different parts of the body. 


3. The Shri Chakra is of ninefold form. 

(The wise man) should touch these places (and say): Hail to the Self of the Shri 
Chakra in the Form of 9 Chakras in the whole Body. 

4. Varahi is the father-form. Kurukulla, the mother, is the receiver of 

Hail to the Father-Form, to the Selves of Bone (and the other three Dhatus), to 


Hail to the Mother-Form, to the Selves of Flesh (and the other four Dhatus), to 

Kurukulla the Receiver of Offerings. 

5. The aims of man are the oceans. 

Hail to the back of the body, the Dharma Self,the Sugarcane Ocean. 
Hail to the right of the body, the Artha Self,the Salt Ocean. 
Hail to the front of the body, the Kama Self,the Ghee Ocean. 
Hail to the left of the body, the Moksha Self,the Milk Ocean. 

6. The body is the island of nine gems. 

Hail to the Body which is the Very Self of the Island of 9 Gems. 

7. Skin first, then the seven bodily elements and hair (are the nine). 

Hail to the Flesh Self, the Topaz Gem 
Hail to the Hair Self, the Sapphire Gem. 
Hail to the Skin Self, the Vaidurya Gem. 
Hail to the Blood Self, the Manikya Gem. 
Hail to the Semen Self, the Pearl Gem. 
Hail to the Marrow Self, the Emerald Gem. 



to the Bone Self, the Diamond Gem. 
to the Fat Self, the Gomeda Gem. 
to the Ojas Self, the Ruby Gem. 

to the Presiding Deity of Flesh, to the Lady of the Time Chakra. 
to the Presiding Deity of Hair, the Lady of the Mudra Chakra. 
to the Presiding Deity of Skin, the Lady of the Letter Chakra. 
to the Presiding Deity of Blood, the Lady of the Gem Chakra. 
to the Presiding Deity of Semen, the Lady of the Space Chakra. 
to the Presiding Deity of Marrow, the Lady of the guru Chakra. 
to the Presiding Deity of Bone, the Lady of the Tattva Chakra. 
to the Presiding Deity of Fat, the Lady of the Planet Chakra. 
to the Presiding Deity of Ojas, the Lady of the Form Chakra. 

8. Resolutions are the wish-fulfilling trees, energy the grove of aeon trees. 

Hail to the Resolution Self, the Aeon Trees. 

Hail to the Energy Self, the Garden of Aeon Trees. 

9. The tastes sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, astringent and salty as perceived 
by the tongue are the six seasons. 

Hail to the Sweetness Self, Spring Season. 

Hail to the Sour Self, S,immer Season. 

Hail to the Bitter Self, 

Hail to the Pungent Self, Rainy Season. 

Hail to the Astringent Self, Winter Season. 

Hail to the Sense Selves, the Horses. 

Hail to the Objects of the Senses, the Elephants. 

Hail to the Compassion Self, the Moat. 

Hail to the Ojas Heap, the Ruby Bower. 


10. Knowledge is the Offering, The Known is the Oblation, the Knower is 
the Sacrificer. The meditation on Knowledge-Known-Knower and on their 
non-difference is the worship offered to the Shri Chakra. 

Hail to the Knowledge Self, the Special Offering. 

Hail to the Object of Knowledge Self, the Oblation. 

Hail to the Knower, one's Own Self. 

Hail to the Consciousness Self, Shri Mahatripurasundari. 

Having accomplished this mentally one (should say): Hail to Knower- 

Knowledge-Object of Knowledge. 

Then one should worship the 15 Nityas , placing the hand on the heart: 

Hail to 1440 breaths,first Day of the Waxing moon, Kamesvari Nitya. 

2nd Day, Bhagamalini Nitya. 














to 1440 breaths, 3rd Day, Nityaklinna Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 4th Day, Bherunda Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 5th Day, Vahnivasini Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 6th Day, Vajreshvari Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 7th Day, Shivaduti Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 8th Day, Tvarita Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 9th Day, Kulasundari Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 10th Day, Nitya Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 1 1th Day, Nilapataka Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 12thDay, Vijaya Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 13th Day, Sarvamangala Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, 14th Day, Jvalamalini Nitya. 

to 1440 breaths, Full moon, Chitra Nitya. 

This Nitya Meditation should be accomplished inwardly. 

The breaths add up to 21,600, one with time. 

11. Fate, love, and the other sentiments are Anima etc. 

Hail to the outer line of the earth Square. (Diffusion Nyasa) 

Hail to the Peaceful Sentiment, Anima Siddhi, on the back of the right shoulder. 

Hail to the Miraculous Sentiment, Laghima Siddhi, on the tips of the fingers of 

the right hand. 

Hail to the Compassionate Sentiment, Mahima Siddhi, on the right buttock. Hail 


to the Heroic Sentiment, Ishitvta Siddhi, on the tips of the toes of the right foot. 
Hail to the Laughter Sentiment, Vashita Siddhi, on the tips of the toes of the left 

Hail to the Fearful Sentiment, Prakamya Siddhi, on the left buttock. Hail to the 
Angry Sentiment, Bhukti Siddhi, on the tips of the fingers of the left hand. 
Hail to the Anxious Sentiment, Iccha Siddhi, on the back of the left shoulder. 
Hail to the Erotic Sentiment, Prapti Siddhi, at the root of the penis. Hail to the 
Principle of Restraint, Sarva Kama Siddhi, on the back of the penis. 

12. Desire, cruelty, greed, delusion, euphoria, envy, merit and demerit are 
the eight Shaktis ~ Brahmi being the first. 

Hail to the middle line of the earth Square. 

Hail to Brahmi, the Desire Self, on the two big toes. 

Hail to Maheshvari, the Cruelty Self, on the right side. 

Hail to Kaumari, the Greed Self, on the head. 

Hail to Vaishnavi, the Delusion Self, on the left side. 

Hail to Varahi, the Pride Self, on the left knee. 

Hail to Indrani, the Envy Self, on the right knee. 

Hail to Chamunda, the Merit Self, on the right arm. 

Hail to Mahalakshmi, the Demerit Self, on the left arm. 

13. The nine root centres are the Mudra Shaktis. 

Hail to the inner line of the earth Square. 

Hail to the 1000 Petalled Lotus, the All Bewildering Mudra, on the two big toes. 

Hail to the Muladhara Lotus, the All Agitation Causing Mudra, on the right side. 

Hail to the Svadishtana, the All Attracting Mudra, on the head. 

Hail to the Manipura, the All Subjugating Mudra, on the left side. Hail to the 

Anahata, the All Lust Making Mudra, on the left knee. Hail to the Vishuddha, 

the Great Goad Mudra, on the right knee. 

Hail to the Three Yonis, the Khechari Mudra, on the right inside shoulder. 

Hail to the Ajna, the All-Bija Mudra, on the left inside shoulder. 

Hail to the 1000 petalled Lotus of the head, to the All-Yoni Mudra. 

Hail to the Nine Adharas, the Trikhanda Mudra, on the big toes. 

Hail to Tripura in the heart, in the Chakra Bewildering the Three Worlds. 


Hail to the Prakata Yoginis, one's Own Self, Anima Siddhi and so forth. 
Hail to one's Unlimited Own Self, the All Bewildering Mudra. 

14. Earth, water, fire, air, aether, ear, skin, eye, tongue, nose, speech, hands, 
feet, anus, penis, and mind's wavering are the sixteen Shaktis, 
Kamakarshini being the first. 

Hail to the sixteen petalled Lotus. 

Hail to Kamakarshini Nitya Kala, the element earth, on the back of the right ear. 

Hail to Buddhikarshini Nitya Kala, the element water, on the right shoulder. 

Hail to Ahamkarshini Nitya Kala, the element fire, on the right elbow. Hail to 

Shabda Karshini Nitya Kala, the element air, on the back of the right hand. 

Hail to Sparshakarshini Nitya Kala, the element aether, on the right thigh. 

Hail to Rupakarshini Nitya Kala, Hearing, on the right knee. 

Hail to Rasakarshini Nitya Kala, Touch, on the right ankle. 

Hail to Gandhakarshini Nitya Kala, Sight, on the sole of the right foot. 

Hail to Chittakarshini Nitya Kala, Taste, on the sole of the left foot. 

Hail to Dhairyakarshini Nitya Kala, breath, on the left ankle. 

Hail to Smrityakarshini Nitya Kala, Speech, on the left knee. 

Hail to Namakarshini Nitya Kala, Hands, on the left thigh. 

Hail to Bijakarshini Nitya Kala, Feet, on the back of the left hand. 

Hail to Atmakarshini Nitya Kala, Anus, on the left elbow. 

Hail to Amritakarshini Nitya Kala, Genitals, on the left shoulder. 

Hail to Sharirakarshini Nitya Kala, Mind, on the back of the left ear. 

Hail to Tripureshvari in the heart, in the Chakra Fulfilling All Desires. 

Hail to the Gupta Yoginis, one's Own Self, Laghima Siddhi. 

Hail to one's Unlimited Own Self, the All Panic Making Mudra. 

15. Speech, holding, moving, excreting, generating, rejecting, accepting and 
being detached are the eight (shaktis) like Anangakusuma. 

Hail to the right temple, Speech Self, Anangakusuma. 
Hail to the right collarbone, Walking Self, Anangamekhala. 
Hail to the right thigh, Sexuality Self, Anangamadana. 
Hail to the right ankle, Evacuation Self, Anangamadanatura. 
Hail to the left ankle, Bliss Self, Anangarekha. 
Hail to the left thigh, Relinquishment Self, Anangavega. 


Hail to the left collarbone, Concentration Self, Anangankusha. 
Hail to the left temple, Detachment Self, Anangamalini. 
Hail to the heart, the Chakra Bewildering All, Tripurasundari. 
Hail to One's Unlimited Own Self, the All Attracting Mudra. 
Hail to the Guptatara Yoginis, One's Own Self, Mahimasiddhi. 

16. Alambusha, Kuhu, Vishvodara, Vatnrta, Hastijihva, Yashovati, 
Payashvini, Gandhari, Pusha, Shankhini, Sarasvati, Ida, Pingala and 
Sushumna are the fourteen nadis -- Sarvasankshobhini being the first of the 
fourteen Shaktis. 

Hail to the Chakra of fourteen triangles. 

Hail to the middle part of the forehead, Alambusha (nadi), the Shakti 

bewildering all. 

Hail to the right part of the forehead, Kuhu, the Shakti causing panic. Hail to the 

right of the cheek, Vishvodara, the Shakti attracting all. Hail to the right 

shoulder, Varuna, the Shakti gladdening all. 

Hail to the right side, Hastijihva, the Shakti deluding all. 

Hail to the right thigh, Yashovati, the Shakti paralysing all. 

Hail to the right leg, Payasvini, the Shakti crushing all. 

Hail to the left leg, Gandhari, the Shakti subjugating all. 

Hail to the left thigh, Pusha, the Shakti colouring all. 

Hail to the left side, Shankhini, the Shakti causing wantonness. Hail to the left 

cheek, Ida, the Shakti causing prosperity. 

Hail to the left part of the forehead, Pingala, the Shakti made of Mantra. 

Hail to the centre of the forehead, Sushumna, the Shakti destroying 


Hail to the heart, the Chakra Creating Great Good Fortune, 


Hail to the Sampradaya Yoginis, one's Own Self, Ishita Siddhi. Hail to One's 

Own Self, the All Subjugating Mudra. 

17. Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana, Sama, Naga, Kurma, Krikara, Datta and 
Dhananjaya are the 10 breaths -- Sarvasiddhidana being the first of the 
devatas of the outer ten (triangles). 

Hail to the chakra of ten Triangles. 


Hail to the right eye, the breath Self, the devi giving all Siddhi. 

Hail to the root of the nose, the Demerit Self, the devi giving prosperity. 

Hail to the left eye, the Vyana, the devi dear to all. 

Hail to the middle of the belly, the Udana, the devi causing all subjugation. 

Hail to the diaphragm, the Samana, the devi giving all sexual desire. Hail to the 

left knee, the Naga, the devi destroying unhappiness. Hail to the anus, the 

Kurma, the devi alleviating death. 

Hail to the right knee, Krikara, the devi destroying all obstacles. Hail to the 

south west of the belly, Devadatta, the devi beauteous in all limbs. 

Hail to the south east of the belly, Dhananjaya, the devi giving good fortune. 

Hail to the heart, the Chakra Giving All a Sadhaka's Objects, Tripura shri. 

Hail to the Kulakaula Yoginis, One's Own Self, Vashita Siddhi. 

Hail to One's Unlimited Own Self, the Mudra Causing All Wantonness. 

18. The biological fire is fivefold through differences based on its 
association with the major breaths -- being Rechaka, Pachaka, Shoshaka, 
Dahaka and Plavaka. 

19. Ksharaka, Utgaraka, Kshobaka, Jrimbhaka and Mohaka are fires 
associated with the lesser breaths. They assist digestion in a fivefold way 
what is eaten, chewed, sucked, licked and drunk. 

20. These ten kalas of fire are the devatas of the ten inner (triangles). 

Hail to the Inner Chakra of ten triangles. 

Hail to the right nostril, Rechaka fire, the All Knowing devi. 

Hail to the right corner of the mouth, Pachaka fire, the devi giving all energy. 

Hail to the right breast, Shoshaka fire, the devi giving all dominion. 

Hail to the right of the penis, Plavaka fire, the devi destroying all ailments . 

Hail to the penis, Dahaka fire, the devi made of Knowledge. 

Hail to the left of the penis, Ksharaka fire, devi who is the true form of all 


Hail to the left breast, Udgara fire, the devi destroying sin. 

Hail to the left corner of the mouth, Kshobaka fire, devi who is all bliss. 

Hail to the left nostril, Jrimbhini fire, the devi who is the true form of all 



Hail to the tip of the nose, Mohaka fire, the devi giving desired objects. 

Hail to the heart, the Chakra Giving All Protection, Tripura-Malini. 

21. Cold, warmth, pleasure, unhappiness, desire, sattvas, rajas and tamas 
are the eight shaktis Vashini etc. 


to the Chakra of eight Triangles. 

to the right of the lip, Coldness, Vashini Goddess of Speech. 

to the right of the throat, Warmth, Kamesvari Goddess of Speech. 

to the right of the heart, Pleasure, Modini Goddess of Speech. 

to the right of the navel, Desire, Aruna Goddess of Speech. 

to the left of the navel, Unhappiness, Vimala Goddess of Speech. 

to the left of the heart, Sattva Guna, Jayini Goddess of Speech. 

to the left of the throat, Rajoguna, Sarveshvari Goddess of Speech. 

to the left of the lip, Tamoguna, Kaulini Goddess of Speech. 

to the heart, to One's Own Self, Bhukti Siddhi. 

to the Rahasya Yoginis, One's Own Self, Tripura-Siddha- 

to One's Unlimited Own Self, Khechari Mudra. 

22. The five flowery arrows are the sense-impressions, of which sound is the 

23. Mind is the bow made of sugar-cane. 

24. Attachment is the noose. 

25. Repulsion is the goad. 

Hail to the lower part of the heart triangle, the Five Substances of the Senses, the 

All-Piercing Arrows. 

Hail to the right part of the heart triangle, the Mind, the All Deluding Bow. 

Hail to the upper part, Attraction, the All Subjugating Noose. 

Hail to the left part, Repulsion, the All Paralysing Goad. 


26. Nature, intelligence and 'I am' are the devatas of the inner triangle 
Kamesvari, Bhagamalini and Vajreshvari . 

Hail to the tip of the heart, the Great Tattva, Kamesvari devi. 

Hail to the right part, 'I am', Vajreshvari. 

Hail to the left part, Manifestation, Bhagamalini devi. 

Hail to the heart, the Chakra Giving All Siddhi, Tripura-Amba. 

Hail to the Very Secret Yoginis, One's Own Self, Iccha Siddhi. 

Hail to One's Unlimited Own Self, Bija Mudra. 

27. Truly, awareness without attributes in Kameshvara. 

28. One's very own self, true, blissful, complete, is the supreme Goddess 

29. The red glow of all this is the mirror. 

30. Presence of consciousness is siddhi. 

31. When one meditates in this way action is Homage. 

32. The dissolving in one's Being of distinctions such as T, 'You', 
'Existence', 'Non-existence', 'what is to be done', 'what is not to be done' 
and the duty to worship is the act of Oblation. 

33. The thought of the sameness of all objects of mind is the act of 
Nourishment . 


34. The fifteen days of the transformation of time are the Eternities (the 

Hail to the Bindu Chakra. 

Hail to the centre of the heart, the chief devi without characteristics or form, 

Pure Consciousness, the Ultimate Devata Lalita in sexual union with 

Kameshvara, the One Absolute known as Truth- Consciousness-Bliss, 


35. One who meditates in this way for three, two or even one moment is 
liberated whilst living, and is called a shivayogin. 

36. These thoughts on the centre of the chakra have been discussed 
according to the tenets of the Kadi school. 

37. Whosoever knows this is a student of the atharvashiras. 


Abstract of Dakshinamurti Samhita 

Dear One, Tripura is the ultimate, primordial Shakti, the light of manifestation. 
She, the pile of letters of the alphabet, gave birth to the three worlds. At 
dissolution, She is the abode of all tattvas, still remaining Herself - 

This work is a comprehensive digest on the subject of Shri Vidya, from the 
Kaula point of view. It largely skips the philosophical implications of the cult 
and concentrates on the ritualistic aspects. Yet the work is of interest because it 
seems to represent a different branch of the tradition. For example, the mantras 
(properly, vidyas) of the Devi's 15 Nityas or eternities differ from those 
encountered in other texts including Tantrarajatantra, Vamakeshvara, the Kalpa 
Sutras, etc. 

The different patalas (chapters) are of widely varying lengths, some consisting 
of only a few shlokas (verses), while others go into considerable detail. 

Chapter one begins with praise of Tripura in her five lion seat form. Shri Devi 
questions Ishvara about the different amnayas, identified with the four directions 
and the upper face. Shiva describes the different forms of Shri Vidya and gives 
the vidya and dhyana (meditation images) of Lakshmi in her one syllable form. 
Chapter two describes Mahalakshmi puja, together with the vidya, dhyana, and 
purashcharana (preparatory acts) of the goddess. In the third chapter, Shiva 
describes the worship of the three Shakti form of Mahalakshmi. 

Samrajya Lakshmi is the subject of the fourth chapter. After describing her 
form, Shiva gives her vidya and the different avarana or attendants in her yantra. 

In chapter five, Ishvara speaks of Shri Kosha Vidya. A sadhaka who masters 
this vidya is never reborn. She is the supreme light, without any attributes 
whatsoever, the very self of creation, maintenance and dissolution. 

Chapter six extends the subject of the Paranishkala Devata (supreme goddess 
with no parts). She is the supreme form of Parabrahma, wears white clothes, 
white gems and is smeared with white paste. She shows the mudra of knowledge 
and is served by hosts of yogis. 

The seventh chapter deals with the Ajapa or unpronounced mantra. According 
to the Kaulas, a human being breathes 21,600 times during the day. Half are Sun 
breaths and half are Moon breaths. This is called the Ajapa because it is 


pronounced spontaneously, as a person breathes, and is called the Hamsa 
mantra. A sadhaka can meditate on different chakras in the human body, 
assigning sections of these breaths there. 

Chapter eight speaks of Matrika, the goddess as the letters of the alphabet, 
starting with A first and Ksha last. Ishvara gives the mandala to create for her 
worship and gives a dhyana of the goddess. 

The next patala, chapter nine, begins to describe Bala Tripurasundari in her 
form as a young pubescent woman. She sits on a beautiful jewelled lion seat in 
the midst of the kadamba forest. The text gives details of her yantra, and other 
ritualistic accessories. This is a much longer chapter than the previous eight. 
Chapters 10 and 11 deal with the lion seat in the four quarters. 

In chapter 12, Shiva describes the Kama Bija, personified by Kameshvari. She 
is as effulgent as a china rose, holds a bow and arrows, and is adorned with 
various beautiful jewels which delude the whole three worlds. 

Chapter 13 describes Rakta Netra worship. She has the form of Lalita, with 
rounded high buttocks (nitambini), a slender waist, a peaceful face and beautiful 
eyes. She is young and beautiful with swelling, high firm breasts. 

In chapter 15 the devatas associated with the southern amnaya are briefly 
described. Then Shiva, in the next chapter, describes those of the western 

Chapter 16 describes the Mritasamjivini Devi, a female form of Mrityunjaya. 
The next, patala 17, describes Vajreshi. 

In chapter 18, Shiva speaks of the Tripureshi Bhairavi vidya. This is Lalita as a 
woman in whom menstruation has ceased. 

Chapter 19 gives more details about the western amnaya, while chapter 20 
continues the topic by dealing with the northern (uttara) amnaya. Bhairavi is 
situated here. 

Chaitanya Bhairavi is the subject of chapter 21, while Kuta Bhairavi forms the 
subject matter in chapter 22. The form of the goddess known as Nitya Bhairavi 
is the topic of chapter 23, while another fierce aspect of Tripurasundari, Aghora 
Bhairavi (Damareshi) forms the subject matter of chapter 24. Devi Sampat 
Bhairavi in the subject of chapter 25. 


In chapter 26 Shiva tells Devi about Panchasundari. This is Lalita in her form 
as the five elements of space, fire, air, earth and water. Chapter 27 deals with 
Parijateshvari, while chapter 28 covers Pancha Baneshi, or the goddess in her 
form as the five arrows. Pancha Kameshvari is the topic of chapter 29, while 
Kalpalata Vidya is described in chapter 30. Chapter 31 deals of Annapurna, or 
the Devi full of food. She is described as a Siddha Vidya, giving endless food to 
her devotees. 

In chapter 32 we learn of Matangi Ratna Devi. Details of her puja, her dhyana, 
her avarana devatas and her vidya are described. Chapter 33 covers 
Bhuvaneshvari, and the same subject is continued in 34 and in chapter 35 at 
some length. Chapter 36 speaks of the Ghatargala Yantra. 

Varahi (also known as Panchami) is the subject of chapter 37. Her yantra can 
be inscribed on silver, gold or copper. Alternatively, it may be drawn on birch 
bark (bhurja), using substances including kumkum, aguru, sandal, rochana, or 
turmeric and water. She is as bright as a blue lotus, wears a garland of skulls, 
and is adorned with nine jewels. 

In the 38th chapter, tarpana (oblation) is described at some length, together 
with some prayogas, the nature of the pot to be used in the worship and other 
details. This chapter deals with the six magical acts (shatkarma). 

The 39th, brief chapter, speaks of the Pancharatra Agama, known as the 
Vishnu Agama. It gives a dhyana of the Lakshmi. In chapter 40, Ishvara starts 
to speak of Kameshvari Nitya. The next chapters up to and including chapter 
53, speak of the other Nityas. As noted elsewhere, these have different mantras 
and vidyas to those spoken of in the Tantrarajatantra. 

Chapter 54 gives an explanation of the 15 Nityas (16, if Lalita is included). 
There follows an interesting correlation between the states of waking, dream and 
deep sleep with the three gunas. The fourth state (Turya), is described as the 
ultimate Kala, free from existence and non-existence, beyond the three gunas. 
These are the 16 Kalas but beyond this is a 17th Kala which is the Absolute 
itself. The text correlates the letters of the Shri Vidya mantra with the Nityas and 
with that which is beyond them. It relates the three sections of the Shri Vidya 
with the three worlds and with the Mahapitha formed from the Sanskrit letters 
A-Ka-Tha. In the centre of the universe (prapancha) is Tripura, who is of the 
nature of the absolute. 

In chapter 55, Devi asks how one should perform the daily puja of the goddess. 
Shiva gives details here which are similar to those in other Shri Vidya tantras 


and in Subhagodaya. In chapter 56, Shiva says that the supreme goddess is in 
the form of compassion, bears the universe (Jagadhatri), and is in the form of 
sound as Nada and Bindu. She is also beyond these. Various mantras of Shri 
Vidya exist, including those first pronounced by Kubera and Lopamudra. She 
enumerates the other vidyas of Shri Vidya pronounced by other rishis. 

Towards the end of this chapter, Ishvara Shiva sings of the greatness of Lalita 
and describes the Turya or fourth technique, by remembering which, an 
individual becomes one with the Brahman or Mahapada. He says: "One's self 
(svayam) is Brahma, one's self is Vishnu, one's self is Rudra, there is no doubt 
about it." One who pronounces the vidya even once surpasses thousands of 
millions of Ashvamedhas (horse sacrifices), acts of homa, sacrifices, 
pilgrimages to holy places like Kashi, bathing in sacred rivers and the rest. He 
adds that even if he had millions of tongues, it would be impossible to speak of 
the greatness of Shrividya. After obtaining it from the guru, it washes away the 
most heinous of sins. 

In chapter 57, he continues the subject of the worship of Shri Vidya and 
describes a great nyasa in which she is identified with the letters of the alphabet, 
the Ganeshas, the planets, the sidereal constellations (nakshatras), the solar 
constellations (rashis), the yoginis and the sacred sites. The full nyasa is 
published on this site. As an aside, tantrik astrology differs from Western 
astrology in that the signs of the zodiac are aligned with the stars of the 
constellations, rather than beginning at the Spring Equinox. 

Chapter 58 discusses the important subject of Kamakala. The three bindus are 
to be meditated on in Tripura's forehead and two breasts, while the Ha-Ardha 
kala is in her yoni, below. One should meditate on being one with the Devi. 
Then follows a lengthy meditation on Lalita, similar to the one in Vamakeshvara 
T antra. 

In chapter 59, Shiva speaks of the famous Shri Yantra and describes the Shaktis 
or attendants worshipped in the different nine mandalas, together with how they 
should be visualised. The chapter concludes with the nine different forms of 
Lalita in each of these mandalas. 

The 60th chapter speaks of how the sadhika or sadhaka should end her or his 
puja, with worship of Shoshika and the rest. In chapter 61, he speaks of the 
different fruits of reciting mantra (japa) and of homa (fire worship) in a number 
of differently shaped kundas or fire pits. These produce different results 
according to the wish of she or he who does puja, and demand different types of 
fruit, flowers, and scents, depending on the object of the homa. 


In chapter 62, Ishvara speaks of the Suvasini, of her characteristics, and of the 
sadhana to attract her. A circle is to be drawn and everything therein should be 
red. She should be given flower, fruit, scented water, food, clothes and jewels. 
The appropriate mudras should be displayed to her. Other rites are given which 
result in the acquisition of marvellous siddhis or powers. At the end of the 
chapter, the five Kamas are described. By worshipping the Kamas, an individual 
may "delude the world" and attract 64 kotis of yoginis to the chakra. 

In chapter 63, the important subject of the sexual worship of Shaktis is 
discussed. Shiva describes the vira sadhana and says that once semen is emitted 
using this rite, it should be offered to the Shakti. Sacred substances include 
semen, menstrual blood and urine, the text says. If a person worships in this 
manner without being properly initiated, the text warns, it is the equivalent of 
slaying a Brahmin, and he or she ends up in the different hells available in the 
Hindu tradition. You cannot adopt this method by reading it from a book, it 

In chapter 64, the subject of creating a pavitra is alluded to, together with the 
ritual method for consecrating it. The last, 65th chapter, speaks, in some detail, 
of a rite of subjugation. 


The Fifteen Nityas 

"The chakra of the letters of the alphabet is based upon time and so is identical 
with the sidereal zodiac. " - Tantraraja Tantra 

The Nityas or Eternities of Lalita represent the fifteen lunar days or tithis of the 
waxing Moon. Each has her own yantra, mantra, tantra and prayogas or ritual 
applications. The full circle of the Nityas also represents the 21,600 breaths a 
human being takes in a full day and night. As such, the Nityas are the 
Kalachakra, or Wheel of Time. 

The information in this section is drawn from a number of tantras including the 
Tantraraja, the Dakshinamurti Samhita and the Jnanarnava Tantra, as well as 
the Kalpasutra, which seems to be the primary source. Readers will also find it 
useful to refer to Sir John Woodroffe's digest of the Tantraraja (Ganesh & Co, 
1971), although here he fails to give sufficient idea of the number of prayogas 
(magical rites) associated with the Nityas. Yantras and mantras, where given, are 
drawn from Tantraraja, although it is necessary to point out that the 
Dakshinamurti Samhita gives somewhat different versions. 

You can find larger versions of the yantras according to the Tantrarajatantra on 
this page. 

The 15 Nityas are modifications of Lalita as red goddess with her three gunas 
and her five elements of aether, air, fire, water and earth. As the moon remains 
itself, though appearing differently according to phase, so too does Lalita. Each 
Nitya has her own vidya (that is mantra), yantra and group of energies (Shaktis). 
Their names appear in the first chapter of Vamakeshvara Tantra. Gopinath 
Kaviraj, a renowned scholar of tantra in the first half of this century, describes 
the Kalachakra and the Nityas succinctly in the introduction to the Sanskrit 
edition of Yogini Hridaya. (Sarasvati Bhavana Granthamala, 1963): 

"What the Bhavanopanishad says implies that the Human Body is to be 
conceived as the Sri Cakra, being the expression of one's own self. (Svatma). 

This means that while on the one hand the Body is to be 
regarded as non-different from the atma, the entire cosmic 
system associated with the body should also be viewed in 
the same light. This outer system in its manifestation rests 
on Time (kala), Space (deha) and a combination of the two. 
The exponents of the School hold that the well known 
fifteen Kalas of the Moon, representing the 15 lunar tithis, 
are to be regarded as identical with the fifteen Nityas 


(Kameshvari to Citra). The sixteenth Kala called Sadakhya should be viewed as 
one with Lalita or the Supreme Deity Herself. In other words, one has to feel 
that what appears in Kalacakra is nothing but an expression of what exists 
eternally as Nityas in the supreme Sri Cakra itself. The tithicakra or the wheel of 
time is constantly revolving and the Sri Cakra is within it and not without. It 
should also be remembered that from the standpoint of an esoteric yogin the 
tithis are in the last analysis to be identified with the 21600 shvasas supposed to 
be the average number of breaths per day of a normal human being." 

Hence Lalita or Tripurasundari is the 16th day or full moon, with her 15 digits. 
Each of the Nityas has a certain number of arms, the totality of arms (= rays) of 
the whole circle being 108. Because any unit of time is taken as a microcosm or 
parallel of any other valid unit, each of the fifteen Nityas thus has 1,440 breaths 
(see Bhavanopanishad). This identity between space, time, Tripurasundari and 
the individual is elaborated at great length and with considerable sophistication 
by the author of the Tantraraja. 

According to that text, the Nityas are the vowels of the Sanskrit alphabet and are 
identical with both time and space. For example, if the number of tattvas or 
consonants (36) are multiplied by the 16 Nityas the number of letters is 576. The 
multiples of this number provide the number of years in the different Yugas. So 
the circle of the matrikas and the Nityas is identical with the sidereal zodiac as 
well as mantra. 

This theme is further elaborated in the 28th chapter of the same tantra, where 
Shiva says that in the centre of the world is the Meru, outside of this being the 
seven oceans and beyond this the Kalachakra or wheel of time which moves in a 
clockwise direction by the power of Iccha (Will) Shakti. The circle is divided by 
12 spokes and the planets or grahas are within this. Lalita, says the tantra, is in 
the Meru, while 14 Nityas from Kameshvari to Jvalamalini reside in the seven 
islands and seven oceans. Chitra, who is the 16th Nitya, occupies supreme Space 
or Paramavyoma. 

In the Dakshinamurti Samhita, the Nityas are identified with kalas or parts of the 
different stages of deep sleep, dreaming, waking, and full consciousness or 
Turiya. Here it is said that the Nityas, including Lalita, are the 16 parts of the 
continuum of consciousness, while the 17th Kala is beyond all of this. Each of 
the Nityas has the respective vowel letter associated with her mantra vidya. 



Deep Sleep 

14 spokes 






Two 10s 


Ya etc. 



Eight spokes 


Sha etc 



Four lines 

16 Petals 




Eight petals 




Three lines 


Deep Sleep 




Blossoming universal place, Kriya 



Non blossoming place, Jnana 



Place of Samarasa 

Similar ideas are found in the Matrikachakra Viveka, as in the table above, 
drawn from the Sanskrit introduction to the 1934 Government Sanskrit College 
of Benares edition, which classifies the nine mandalas of the Shri Yantra 
according to Pramana - means of knowledge, Pramata - the subject, and 
Prameya - the object and relates the 
different states of consciousness to the 
yantra. See Tattvas on this site. 

According to the Tantraraja, the 15 
Nityas are limbs or rays of Lalita, who is 
herself pure consciousness without additions. Varahi and Kurukulla bear the 
relationship of father and mother respectively. The Nityas themselves can be 
meditated upon and worshipped in different forms and colours for the attainment 
of different ends. In daily worship (puja) of the Nityas, each has her own nyasa 
and ritual sequence and they are to receive puja on the lunar days associated 
with them. The vidya mantras of the different Nityas below are prefaced by Aim 
Hrim Shrim bija mantras and suffixed with Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami 
Namah, that is Hail. I worship and libate the auspicious lotus feet [of the 
appropriate Nitya]. The yantras used below are those from the Tantraraja while 
the Sanskrit syllables are the vowel letters associated with each Nitya and day of 
the Moon. 


The images embedded in the text above are taken from a sadhaka's manuscript 
of the 1 ,000 names of Lalita. 



Kameshvari Nitya 

The first Nitya in the cycle is Kameshvari, a name which 
means Lady of Desire. Her vidya (mantra) according to the 
Tantrarajatantra, is Aim Hrim Shrim Am Aim Sa Ka La 

Hrim Nityaklinne Madadrave Sauh Am Kameshvari Nitya Shri Padukam 

Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. 

The same tantra gives her dhyana or meditation image as red like 10 million 
dawn suns, having a diadem of rubies, wearing throat ornaments, necklaces, 
waistchains and rings. She is red, has six arms and three eyes, and bears a 
crescent Moon, smiling softly. She holds a bow of sugar cane, flowering arrows, 
noose, goad, and a nectar-filled begemmed cup, showing the mudra of 
bestowing boons. The five arrows of desire (Kama) in the five petals are 
Longing, Maddening, Kindling, Enchanting and Wasting. These five Kamas are 
five forms of Kamadeva, Lalita as Krishna, who are Kamaraja (Hrim), 
Manmatha (Klim), Kandarpa (Aim), Makara (Blum) and Manobhava (Strim) 
with the colours yellow, white, red, purple and blue. Each of the Kamadevas has 
two eyes and two arms, the hands holding sugar cane bow and flowering arrows, 
the very form of the five elements. 



Bhagamalini Nitya 

P Nitya Bhagamalini, whose name refers to the flowering yoni, 

is the second of the cycle of the waxing Moon and has a 
remarkable and very long vidya (mantra) which runs: Aim 
Hrim Shrim Am Aim Bhagabuge Bhagini Bhagodari Bhagamale Bhagavahe 
Bhagaguhye Bhagayoni Bhaganipatini Sarvabhagavashankari Bhagarupe 
Nityaklinne Bhagasvarupe Sarvani Bhagani Me Hyanaya Varade Rete Surete 
Bhagaklinne Klinnadrave Kledaya Dravaya Amoghe Bhagavicce Kshubha 
Kshobhaya Sarvasatvan Bhagodari Aim Blum Jem Blum Bhem Blum Mom 
Blum Hem Blum Hem Klinne Sarvani Bhagani Me Vashamanaya Strim Hara 
Blem Hrim Am Bhagamalini Nitya Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. 


She has six arms, three eyes, sits on a lotus and holds in her left hands a night 
water lily, a noose and a sugar cane bow and in her right a lotus, a goad and 
flowering arrows. Around her is a host of Shaktis all of whom look like her, 
according to the Tantrarajatantra. 

The Dakshinamurti Samhita has a different image (dhyana). Here (chapter 41), 
she is described as dwelling in the middle of a flowery forest, adorned with 
various gems, holding noose, goad, book, scales, nail (?) and writing implement, 
showing the mudras or hand gestures of allaying fears and bestowing boons. Her 
yantra is described differently, too, as triangle, hexagon, 16 petals, eight petals, 
then the bhupura or fence. 

Nityaklinna Nitya 

Her name means Wet Nitya, or Always Wet. The third Nitya's 
mantra is Aim Hrim Shrim Nityaklinne Madadrave Svaha im 
Nityaklinna Nitya Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. 

She is surrounded by nineteen Shaktis, according to the Tantraraja, who are 
Kshobhini, Mohini, Lila, Nitya, Niranjana, Klinna, Kledini, Madanatura, 
Madadrava, Dravini, Vidhana, Madavila, Mangala, Manmatharta, Manashvini, 
Moha, Amoda, Manomayi, Maya, Manda and Manovati. The Nityaklinna 
herself, the same tantra says, is restless with desire, smeared with red sandal 
paste, wears red clothes, smiles, has a half moon on her head, and holds noose, 
goad, cup and makes the mudra dispelling fear. 

The Dakshinamurti Samhita (chapter 42) gives her root mantra as being of 1 1 
syllables, Hrim Nityaklinna Madadrave Svaha. The image is similar except that 
she holds a noose, a goad, a skull and dispels fears. Her face is bathed in sweat 
and her eyes move with desire. Here the yantra is described as trikona, eight 
petals, and earth square (bhupura). She bestows enjoyment and liberation and 

subdues the three worlds for one siddha (successful) in her 

vidya (mantra). 




Bherunda Nitya 

Bherunda, the fourth Nitya, has three eyes and eight arms, 
with her body the colour of molten gold, wearing beautiful 


ornaments on her hands, feet, arms and around her waist. She smiles sweetly 
with her hands holding noose, goad, shield, sword, mace, thunderbolt (vajra), 
bow and arrow. 

The vidya mantra is: Aim Hrim Shrim Im Om Krom Bhrom Kraum Jhmraum 
Cchraum Jraum Svaha Im Bherunda Nitya Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami 
Namah, says Tantraraja. Using her mantra destroys poison. 

The DS describes her yantra as being triangle, eight petals and bhupura. In the 
triangle are Shikhini, Nilakanthi and Raudri. Bherunda, according to this source, 
rules the Vetalas. The vidya mantra also differs. 

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Vahnivasini Nitya 

Vahnivasini is the sixth Nitya (Eternity) in the cycle, her name 
meaning the dweller in fire. Her mantra is Om Hrim 
Vahnivasiniyai Namah. The Shaktis in the eight trikonas are 
Jvalini, Visphulingini, Mangala, Sumanohara, Kanaka, Ankita, Vishva and 
Vividha. In the 12 petals are the 12 signs of the Hindu (sidereal)zodiac. Her 
description in the Tantraraja Tantra is as a beautiful young woman, the colour 
of gold, with eight arms, dressed in yellow silk garments, adorned with rubies. 
She holds a red lotus, a conch, a bow of red sugarcane and the full moon in her 
left hands; in her right a white water lily, golden horn, flowery arrows and a 
citron. Around her are numberless Shaktis who look like her. She is the dweller 
in fire who devours the universe. 

L vSJSv/-' Mahavajreshvari Nitya 

Her vidya-mantra is Um Hrim Klinne Aim Krom 
Nityamadadrave Hrim Um Mahavajreshvari Nitya Shri 
Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. 

She is described in the Tantraraja as having four arms, three eyes, garmented in 
red, red in colour, wearing red jewels and strewn with red flowers, wearing a 
crown of rubies. She sits on a throne on a golden boat which floats on an ocean 
of blood, and holds noose, goad, sugar cane bow and flowering arrows. She is 


surrounded by a host of Shaktis similar to her and sways while she smiles 

The description in the DS differs. Here, she is described as resembling the china 
rose, wearing red clothes, and holding noose, goad, skull and dispelling fear. 
She is swaying from having drunk pure wine. The yantra here is described as 
having a triangle, four petals, eight petals and a bhupura. 


Duti Nitya 

According to Nityotsava, an expansion of the Kalpasutras, the 
vidya-mantra of Shivaduti Nitya is Aim Hrim Shrim 
Shivadutyai Namah Shivadutinitya Shri Padukam Pujayami 

Tarpayami Namah. She is called Shivaduti because she makes Shiva her 

messenger (Duti). 

The Tantraraja describes her as being dressed in red, with nine jewels in her 
crown, surrounded by Rishis singing her praises and having eight arms and three 
eyes. She looks as bright as the summer sun at midday and smiles sweetly. Her 

hands hold horn, shield, mace, cup, goad, cleaver, axe and 


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Tvarita Nitya 

Tvarita is the ninth Nitya (Eternity) in the cycle. Also called 
Totala Devi. She is called Tvarita ("Swift") as She grants fruit 
to the sadhaka quickly. She is of auspicious form, in the first flush of youth, and 
dark in colour. She has three eyes and four hands and Her beautiful lotus- like 
face smiles gently. She is clad in new leaves. She is adorned with eight fierce 
and great serpents of four kinds, and with waist chains and anklets. On Her head 
is a crystal crown with a crest of peacock feathers. Her arms are adorned with 
bangles made of beautiful peacock feathers. She has an umbrella and a banner 
made of peacock feathers. She wears strings of (red) gunja berries around Her 
throat, and Her breasts are smeared with red sandal and kumkum. She holds 
noose, goad, dispels fear, and grants boons. 


In front of this Goddess is a black servant carrying a mace, who is worshipped 
for the attainment of the desired fruit. On either side of Her are Her two Shaktis 
Jay a (conquering) and Vijaya (Victorious) who are like Her and who carry and 
swing gold canes. 

The 8 Serpents are: Ananta and Kulika, fiery in colour, each with 1000 hoods, 
Her ear ornaments. Vasuki and Shankhapala, yellow in colour, each with 700 
hoods, Her upper arm bangles. Takshaka & Mahapadma, blue in colour, each 
with 500 hoods, Her girdle. Padma and Kartataka, white, each with 300 hoods, 
Her toe ornaments. Her Shaktis are Humkari, Khechari, Chandi, Chedini, 
Kahepani, Strikari, Dumkari, Kahemakari — these are similar to the Lokapalas, 
and the Shaktis in the 8 petals of the yantra. Her mantra is Om Hrim Hum Khe 
Ca Che Ksah Strim Hum Kse Hrim Phat. 

Tvarita Puja 

Taking up a position facing East, and having done three pranayamas, one should 
do the following Nyasa: Hail to the Rishi Saura on the head: Hail to the Metre 
Virat on the mouth: Hail to the Devi Tvarita Nitya in the heart: Hail to the Bija 
Om in the genitals: Hail to the Shakti Hum on the feet: Hail to the Linchpin Kse 
on the navel. Then making the anjali gesture near the heart one should do the 
following Nyasa: Cm Khe Ca to the heart Namah: Ca Cche to the head Svaha: 
Cche Ksah to the peak Vasat: Ksah Stri to the armour Hum: Stri Hum to the 3 
eyes Vaushad: Hum Kse to the Missile Phat. 

Then one should do the Tvarita Nyasa: (Head) Hrim Om Hrim Namah: 
(Forehead) Hrum Hum Hrim Namah: (Throat) Hrim Khe Hrim Namah: (Heart) 
Hrim Ca Hrim Namah: (Navel) Hrim Cche Hrim Namah: (Muladhara) Hrim 
Ksah Hrim Namah: (Thighs) Hrim Stri Hrim Namah: (Knees) Hrim Hum Hrim 
Namah: (Legs) Hrim Kse Hrim Namah: (Feet) Hrim Phat Hrim Namah: End 
with a diffusion. 

After placing the yantra in front of you, visualise Devi Tvarita in the heart. Take 
Her to the head, resolve to do Her puja, place the flower on the yantra centre. 
Worship the triple Guru line first, as being in the three circles, then Devi's 
servitor who is in the west of the Yantra. Worship Jay a and Vijaya on both sides 
of the door. Worship Humkari, Khecari, Canda, Cchedini, Ksepini, Strikari, 
Dumkari, Ksemakari in the eight petals. Tvarita Devi in the centre. 


Kulasundari Nitya 

Her vidya-mantra is given as Aim Hrim Shrim Aim Klim 
Sauh Kulasundari Nitya Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami 

She has twelve arms and six faces, says the Tantraraja. In her right hands she 
holds coral mala (rosary), lotus, a gem-studded pitcher, drinking cip, lemon and 
displays the exposition mudra. Her left hands hold book, red lotus, golden pen, 
garland of gems, conch shell with the last showing the boon mudra, according to 
the same tantra. Around her are hostes of Kinnaras, Yakshas, Devas and 

The letters of the vidya Aim Klim Sauh comprise the Tripura bulb which is the 
united state of knower, knowledge and object of knowledge; the three humours 
of Vata, Kapha and Sleshma; and Fire, Sun and the Moon. According to the DS 
(chapter 48), Kulasundari is identical with Bala and placed in the Eastern lion- 

Nitya Nitya 

The Kalpasutra's version of Nitya Nitya's mantra runs Ha Sa 
Ka La Ra Daim Ha Sa Ka La Ra Dim Ha Sa Ka La Ra Dauh 
Nitya Nitya Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. 

The Tantraraja describes her as like the dawn sun, ruling the Shaktis of the 
bodily dhatus (Dakini, Shakini, Rakini etc), dressed in red clothes and wearing 
rubies. She has three eyes and 12 arms and holds in her hands noose, white 
lotus, sugar cane bow, shield, trident, and favour mudra, goad, book, flowering 
arrows, sword, skull, mudra dispelling fear. 

Nilapataka Nitya 

\u Her name means Sapphire Banner and her mantra is Aim 

Hrim Shrim Phrem Strum Krom Am Klim Aim Blum 
Nityamadadrave Hum Phrem Hrim Em Nilapataka Nitya Shri 


Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. 

The Tantraraja says that she is nila (sapphire) in hue with five faces and ten 
arms, wearing red clothes and beautiful gems. Her left hands show noose, 
banner, shield, horn bow, and the mudra granting gifts. Her right hands show 
goad, dart, sword, arrows and the mudra banishing fear. She sits on a lotus 
surrounded by hordes of Shaktis like her. She rules the Yakshinis and the 64 
Chetakas and has an uncanny collection of siddhis or magical powers to grant to 
her sadhaka or sadhika including a sword unbeatable in battle (Khadga siddhi), 
Treasure, the power to see through walls (Anjana), the ability to travel miles in 
an instant (Paduka Siddhi) and lots, lots more. 

Vijaya Nitya 

She brings victory in battle and success in buying and selling, 
hence her name, Victorious. 

According to Nityotsava, her vidya mantra is Aim Hrim Shrim Bha Ma Ra Ya 
Aum Aim Vijaya Nitya Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. According 
to the DS she has one head and 10 arms and wears a garland of human skulls but 
the dhyana or meditation image in the Tantraraja differs from this. There she 
has five heads and 10 arms which hold conch, noose, shield, bow, white lily, 
discus, goad, arrows and lemon. 

Sarvamangala Nitya 

Her name means "all auspicious" and her vidya mantra is Aim 
Hrim Shrim Svaum Om Sarvamangala Nitya Shri Padukam 
Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. She has two arms and one head, 
sits on her lotus yantra and has eyes which represent the sun and the moon, 
while she smiles sweetly. In her right hand she holds a citron and with the left 
shows the boon-giving mudra. All her 76 attendants surround her, they are solar, 
lunar and fiery. 

She rules over the kalas (parts or digits) of the sun (12), the moon (16) and fire 
(10). This numbers 38 and her attendants are doubled because each is with her 


Jvalamalini Nitya 

Her name means "garlanded with flames" and her mantra, 
according to Tantrarajatantra, is Om namo bhagavati 
Jvalamalini devadevi sarvabhutasamharakarike jatavedasi 

jvalanti jvala jvala prajvala prajvala Hrim Hrim Hum Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram 

Ram Ram Jvalamalini Hum Phat Svaha. 

As the Nitya of flame, she is surrounded by Shaktis, each of whom resembles 
her and she herself has a body of flaming fire, with six faces and 12 arms. Each 
of her faces, each with three eyes, smile sweetly. 

Her 12 hands hold noose, goad, arrow, mace, tortoise, spear, flame and she 
shows two mudras - granting boons and dispelling fear. 

The DS gives a different yantra to the Tantraraja, with one of the mandalas 
having forty rather than 32 petals. 

The Shaktis and her description also show variants. She is described as sitting on 
a lion-seat, and holds different weapons which include the damaru drum and a 
jar of wine. 

Chitra Nitya 

The last Nitya in the cycle is Chitra, whose mantra is Aim 
Hrim Shrim Ckaum Am Chitra Nitya Shri Padukam Pujayami 
Tarpayami Namah. Her name means variegated and she wears a silk garment of 
different colours, has four arms, one head and holds noose, goad, and shows the 
gestures granting boons and dispelling fears. 


Gandharva Tantra 

As long as you are contaminated with notions of me or mine, the self will not be 
found for it lies beyond cognition and cannot be realised as "my" self - 
Tripurarahasya IX, 13 

Gandharva Tantra is an important work of the school of Shri Vidya and follows 
Vamakeshvari Tantra in having a left slant. Parts of this work are translated into 
English elsewhere on this site. This introduction to the Sanskrit text was written 
by M.S.Kaul in 1944 and is out of copyright. The abstract is of such interest to 
students and devotees Shri Vidya that it is well worth reproducing here. To 
preserve mantras and the like, I have used the iTrans format for transcription. 

Abstract of Gandharva Tantra 

Unlike the Agamas, the Gandharva Tantra begins with the two stanzas, one of 
salutation to the Elephant-god and the other of benediction invoking the 
protection of the Goddess Kundalini. This fact in itself reveals that the Tantra 
must be more or less modern. The tradition regarding the appearance of the 
Tantra is that the rival sage Vishvamitra, being envious of the prophetic powers 
of Vasishtha, performs a difficult penance. Failing even thereby to obtain 
equality with Vasishtha he goes to the North and implores the help of Dattatreya 
who consoles him and reveals the Gandharva Tantra which he has heard from 
Nandikeshvara. The tantra is in the form of a dialogue between Shiva and 

1st Chapter 

It begins with the question from Parvati about Brahman, Yoga and the Body. 
Shiva defines the Brahman only. Thereupon Parvati thereupon enquires after 
some such secret lore as will enable the humanity to get release from the 
bondage of actions while enjoying the blessings of the earthly life. Shiva says 
that the Tantric lore is triune in nature as Tamasik, Rajasik, and Sattvik leading 
respectively to hell, heaven and emancipation. He advises that care should be 
taken to reject the first and informs that the subject matter of the Tantra is 
already revealed by Him to Krishna the son of Devaki and to Nandikeshvara. 
The former related it to Brahma and the latter to Pushpadanta and through him 
to Gandharvas. The sages received it from Brahma and Indra from Angiras and 
the king of the demons from Sukra. The result was that everyone became 
piously-minded including even Namuchi and other demons and the eternal foes 
of the latter, i.e. Indra and other gods lost their high positions. Brahma, pitying 


them went to Shiva and related the grievances of the Gods. Shiva, consequently 
revealed more or less the materialistic Shastras to deceive the demons. Among 
these are mentioned the Pashupata-Saiva, the Vaisheshika, the Nyaya, the 
Samkhya, the Charvakas, and the Bauddha. All the mantras also were polluted 
as it were with various defilements and the Tantras interpolated with doubtful 

2nd Chapter 

In this Parvati requests Shiva to remove the doubts referred to in the first Patala 
regarding the Shakti lore. Shiva accedes to the request and relates the 
importance of the worship of Shakti as Turiya. She (Tripurasundari) is called 
Turiya (the fourth ) in-as-much as Kameshvari is the first. Bhagamalini the 
second and Vajreshvari the third. After this Shiva reveals the Mantra called 
Panchadasi Vidya. The same is of three parts. The first is called Vagbhava, as it 
imparts mystery over all forms of speech. It is read as ka e ii la hrii.m. The 
second goes by the name of Kamaraja and is composed of the six letters ha sa ka 
ha la hrii.m. The third is named Shaktibija consisting of the four letters sa ka la- 
hrii.m. Panchadasi in this form is known by the name of Kamaraja- vidya. The 
forms of the same respectively worshipped by Lopamudra, Shiva and Shakti are 
sa ka la hrii.m, ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m, ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka 
la hrii.m; sa ha ka la hrii.m, ha sa ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m. 

Then comes the Shodashi which is read as hrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la 
hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m. The second form of the same is called Chintamani read as 
shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m. The same Shodashi 
when read as hrii.m shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m 
is called Saptadashi. Rajarajeshvari is read as shrii.m hrii.m klii.m sauh o.m 
hrii.m shrii.m ka e ii la hrii.m ha sa ka ha la hrii.m sa ka la hrii.m shrii.m hrii.m 
o.m sauH ai.m klii.m hrii.m shrii.m. 

3rd Chapter 

In the third Patala Shiva reveals the Panchami Vidya which consists of five 
Kutas. It is so called because the whole world consists of the five elements — 
Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky represented by the five Kutas respectively 
presided over by the Shaktis of Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isvara and Sadasiva. 
These are Kameshvari, Vajreshvari, Bhagamalini, Tripurasundari and Para. The 
Vidya is to be read as ka e ii la hrii.m, ha sa ka la hrii.m, ha ka ha la hrii.m, ka 
ha ya la hrii.m, ha ka la sa hrii.m. After this follows the description regarding 
the way in which the Sadhaka is to practise the Vidya and of the powers 


appearing as a result thereof. Ekadashaksari or the mantra of eleven letters 
comes last. It is read as ka la hrii.m, ka ha la hrii.m, sa ka la hrii.m. 

4th Chapter 

In this Patala is given the Kavacha of Raiarajeshvari called Trailokyamohana. 
The sage of the Kavacha is Shiva, metre Virat, and the Goddess 
Mahatripurasundari. The Kavacha is said to have various kinds of efficacy 
which are detailed in the text. It is efficacious not only when practised but also 
when borne on different parts of the body after being written on a birchbark. The 
way of writing is that the names of the practitioner and the object of practice are 
written in the triangle of the Shrichakra, the Mulamantra coming at the top and 
around it the alphabet and around the alphabet the Kavacha. 

5th Chapter 

In this Shiva describes the way in which the Shrichakra is to be drawn and the 
different deities are to receive their worship in the nine component parts of 
Shrichakra. The Shrichakra is to be drawn either on a metallic plate or the earth 
with red lead by the golden pen. Devi is said to have three forms, physical, 
mental and cognitive. The first is represented by Mudra, the second by Yantra 
and the third by Mantra. Mahatripura-Sundari as seated in the lap of Mahashiva 
is to be worshipped in the Binduchakra or the centre. The maidens forming the 
six limbs of Mahatripura-Sundari Sarvajna etc. as also the Datal Eternities are to 
receive their worship in the four sub -quarters, centre and the quarters. The 
fifteen Kalas or fifteen vowels are to be worshipped in the triangle, five in the 
right side and five in the left side and five in the base of the triangle. The Datal 
Eternities are to be worshipped through the medium of the lady. 

Attendant Deities. The three rectangles otherwise called Trailokyamohana 
chakra are respectively presided over by Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Lord 
Buddha, and the 10 Yoginis, Anima etc. are to have their worship in the external 
rectangle; in the inner rectangle eight Mothers Brahmani to Mahalakshmi and in 
the innermost the Mudradevis Sanksobhini etc. All the Deities of the three 
rectangles referred to above go by the name of Prakatayoginis. In the sixteen- 
petalled lotus called Sarvashapuraka Chakra, Brahma and sixteen Guptayoginis 
Kamakarshanika etc. are to be worshipped. Eight Guptatara Yoginis and Shiva 
receive their worship in the eight-petalled lotus called Sarvasankshobhana. In 
the fourteen-sided figure called Sarvasaubhagyadayaka Chakra the sun-god and 
the Sampradayayoginis Sarvasankshobhini etc. get their worship. Kulakaula 
Yoginis and Narayana are worshipped in the outer decagon called 
Sarvarthasadhaka and in the inner decagon Nigarbha Yoginis. In the octagon 


called Sarvarogahara Chakra Rahasya Yogini Vasini etc. receive their worship. 
The Divinities of the weapons of Paramashiva and Mahatripura-sundari receive 
their worship outside the triangle. Kameshwari, Vajreshvari and Bhagamalini 
which are the three Shaktis respectively of Rudra, Visnu and Brahma are to be 
worshipped in the apex, left and right side of the triangle which is called 
Sarvasiddhiprada Chakra. These Shaktis are called Atirahasya Yoginis. In the 
centre of the triangle or the Bindu Chakra Paraparahasya Yogini 
Mahatripurasundari is to receive her worship. The worship of 
Mahatripurasundari is threefold, Para, Apara and Parapara. In the Apara the 
practitioner has to worship her as identical with the Kundalini in the body. In the 
Apara she is to receive her worship in Shrichakra with all the necessary articles 
of worship. The third form of worship includes both the inner and the outer 
aspects of the worship. 

6th Chapter 

In the sixth Patala Shiva, in reply to the query made by Parvati regarding the 
third form of worship, gives in detail instructions for the guidance of the 
practitioner. These are that the practitioner should rise early in the morning, sit 
on the Padmasana, have the Pranayama exercise and meditate upon his Guru 
seated in the thousand-petalled lotus, dressed in white, having two eyes and two 
hands with Vara and Abhaya Mudras, with his wife sitting on the left thigh and 
having two hands one holding the white lotus and the other engaged in the tight 
embrace of her husband. 

Mantra of the Guru is aim hrii.m shrii.m ha sa kha phrem, ha sa ksha ma la va ra 
yum, ha sa kha phrem, ha sa ksha ma la va ra im, hsauh and names of the Guru 
and his wife followed respectively by anandanatha padukam pujayami and 
ambapadukam pujayami. He should offer the objects of senses through the latter 
to his Guru, smell as perfume, sound as flower, touch as incense, form as lamp, 
flavour as Naivedya. After this comes the mention of Yoga which is defined as 
the unification of Jivatma and Paramatma and of the eight limbs of the Yoga and 
their detailed description. At the end is given the description of the centres of 
Kundalini in the body, i.e., Muladhara, Svadhishthana, Manipura, Anahata, 
Vishuddha, Ajna and the thousand-petalled lotus above them, which in turn is 
followed by such instructions as those for bathing, application of collyrium to 
the eyes and the cleaning of teeth. 

7th Chapter 

In the above is given the way in which the devotee of Mahatripurasundari is to 
purify his body and perform the Sandhya. Bathing is said to be of three kinds as 


also the Sandhya. The kinds are physical, mental and psychic consisting in the 
purification respectively of the body, the mind and soul. In the three kinds of 
Sandhyas done in the morning, mid-day and evening the devotee is to meditate 
upon Mahatripurasundari in three forms. The Gayatri of Mahatripurasundari is 
given as tripurasundari vidmahe kameshvari dhimahi tannah klinnam 
prachodayat. Each of these twenty-four letters is said to have a peculiar colour 
and shape. The muttering of the same results in having release from different 
kinds of sins. Agni etc. are the presiding deities of these twenty-four letters. 
Parashurama, Menanath, Agastya, Vasishtha and Dattatreya are declared to have 
freed themselves from heinous crimes such as matricide etc. Every important 
event in the life of a practitioner is to commence with the worship of 
Tripurasundari and at the end of the Sandhya he is to offer a handful of water 
mixed with red flowers and the powder of Sandalwood to the sun under the 
name of Martandabhairava with the Mantra hrii.m hamsah martandabhairavaya 
prakashashaktisahitaya idamarghyam namo namah. 

8th Chapter 

The eighth chapter describes the sacrificial altar and the way in which the 
practitioner should, while entering it, bow to the presiding deities of the quarters 
and other deities such as Ganesha, Ksetrapala etc. and how he should make an 
offering to the Bhutas with the Mantra om hrii.m sarvavighnakrt 
sarvabhutebhyoh hum svaha, how he should remove all obstacles by muttering 
seven times Astra-mantra which reads as aim klii.m sauh astraya phat and how 
he should clean the sacrificial altar. Every article of worship is to be concealed 
till the invocation of the Devi The Devotee is instructed to use his discretion in 
selecting Asana because the fruit of worship varies with the material of which 
the Asana is made. Red blanket is specially advised for the worship of Tripura. 
It must measure two cubits in length and a cubit and a half in width. He has to 
sit also on it under the instructions of Asana. The posture peculiar to the worship 
of Tripura is Padmasana and the North is the quarter which the practitioner must 
face to secure success in the worship of Tripurasundari. The practitioner should 
take care that when worshipping he should have everything red, such as saffron 
ointment, red dress, red seat etc. and while following instructions regarding the 
use of the articles of worship and their places, he should have the Shrichakra 
drawn in red lead, placed on the Simhasana. Towards his left he should place a 
stand with a pot full of water on a rectangular diagram. The stand is to be 
identified with the orb of the fire, the pot with the solar orb and the water with 
the moon and these must as such be worshipped with the Kalas of the fire, the 
sun and the moon. Anandabhairava and Anandahhairavi are to receive their 
worship through the pot. Conch and other vessels are also to be placed in 
particular places. The purification of the five elements, constituting the body by 


removing the impurities attaching to them through the letters peculiar to the 
elements and by subsequent infusion of the energy of the Changeless Reality is 
to be attended to and performed as a preliminary to the worship. For this 
purification the practitioner is to deeply concentrate in the Bindu-chakra on the 
Turiya aspect of Mahatripurasundari. After this he has to protect himself against 
all sinister influences by Digbandhana with the Mantra om hrii.m hamsah so- 
aham svaha aim klii.m sauh tripurasundari mam raksha raksha. 

9th Chapter 

In the ninth chapter is given the Matrikanyasa. In performing this the 
practitioner is first to wash his hand in a particular manner with the mantra am 
aam sauh. Then he has to pay his attention to Rishinyasa etc. Then comes the 
Matrikanyasa of which all details such as Rishi etc. and the six limbs etc. are 
given. Matrika is said to be of two kinds as Antarmatrika and Bahirmatrika. In 
case of the former letters of the alphabet are to be meditated upon in the six 
centres of the body Muladhara to Bhrumadhya. In the latter case letters of the 
Matrika preceded each by klii.m are to be meditated upon, vowels individually 
in the sixteen different parts of the head, five groups of letters, gutturals to 
labials in hands, feet, sides, back, navel, and belly, identifiable with the seven 
constituents of the body, skin, etc. vital soul, individual soul and supreme soul in 
heart, armpits, throat, shoulders, lower end of the heart, hands and feet, belly 
and face. Different poses of the hands are also to be used in performing this 
Nyasa. Towards the end various results obtainable from Matrika-nyasa are 

10th Chapter 

In the 10 th Patala the sixfold Nyasa of Shrividya as consisting of those of 
Ganesha, planets, constellations, Yoginis, signs of Zodiac and Pitha is described. 

Ganesha Nyasa. In this the fiftyone Ganeshas, Vighneshvara to Ganesha with 
their Saktis are to be contemplated upon in the different parts of the body, 
forehead etc. assigning each letter of the alphabet to a couple as a.m 
vighneshvaraaya shriyai namo lalaaTe. 

Planets (Graha) Nyasa. The planets Sun to comet occupy the places heart, 
middle of the eyebrow, eyes, heart, throat, navel, anus and the feet. Their letters 
are respectively vowels, semi-vowels, gutturals, palatals, Unguals, dentals, 
labials, aspirates and La & ksha. 

Constellations (Nakshatra Nyasa) 


Details regarding this are as given in the following table: 







R A i.m 
R A I.m 
L A i.m 
L A I.m 































































































Yogini Nyasa. The Nyasa of Yoginis is to be performed with the mantras in the 
following manner:- 

YoginiLaki Kakini 



















With three 












face of 








three eyes 




























It, vara 



































s of the 














Middle Cavity 
of the in the 
eyebro head 

Offering Milk 
& rice 


Sugar & 


& rice 

Beans & 

c &rice 



The mantra of the first is a.m aa.m i.m I.m u.m U.m R A i.m R A I.m L A i.m L A I.m 
e.m ai.m o.m au.m a.m aH Daa.m Dii.m Damalavarayuu.m Daakinyai namo 
daakini tvagdhaatugate chatuSShaShTilakshakoTiyoginisvaamini 
sarvasattvavasha.mkai aaGYa.m me dehi mama vichche 

The mantra of the second is ka.m kha.m ga.m gha.m -Na.m cha.m Cha.m ja.m 
jha.m -na.m Ta.m Tha.m raa.m rii.m ramalavarayuu.m raakinyai namo raakini 
asR A igdhaatugate dvaatri.mshallakshakoTiyoginisvaamini 
sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi mama vicche 

The mantra of the third is Da.m Dha.m Na.m ta.m tha.m da.m dha.m na.m pa.m 
pha.m laa.m lii.m lamalavarayuu.m laakinyai namo laakini maa.msadhaatugate 
ShoDashalakshakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi 
mama vicche 

The mantra of the fourth is ba.m bha.m ma.m ya.m, ra.m la.m kaa.m kii.m 
kamalavarayuu.m kaakinyai namaH medodhaatugate 

aShTalakshakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi 
mama vicche 

The mantra of the fifth is va.m sha.m Sha.m sa.m shaa.m shii.m 
shamalavarayuu.m shaakinyai namaH shaakini asthidhaatugate 
chaturlakshakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi 
mama vicche 


The mantra of the sixth is ha.m ksha.m haa.m hii.m hamalavarayuu.m haakinyai 
namo haakini majjaadhaatugate dvilakshakoTiyoginisvaamini 
sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi mama vicche 

The mantra of the seventh is a.m aa.m i.m ii.m u.m uu.m R A i.m R A I.m L A i.m 
L A I.m e.m ai.m o.m au.m a.m aH ka.m kha.m ga.m gha.m -Na.m cha.m Cha.m 
ja.m jha.m -na.m Ta.m Tha.m Da.m Dha.m Na.m ta.m tha.m da.m dha.m na.m 
pa.m pha.m ba.m bha.m ma.m ya.m ra.m la.m va.m sha.m Sha.m sa.m ha.m 
ksha.m yaa.m yii.m yamalavarayuu.m yaakinyai namo yaakini shukradhaatugate 
dashakoTiyoginisvaamini sarvasattvavasha.mkari aaGYaa.m me dehi mama 

Rashi Nyasa: Like the two previous Nyasas the above Nyasa also is prescribed 
in the table as given below. 
















R A I.m 












L A i.m 











R A i.m 

L A i.m 
















































Pitha Nyasa. In this the practitioner has to identify the fiftyone Pithas Kamarupa 
etc. with the different parts of the body and in doing so the letters of the Matrika 
are to go along with the names of the pithas one with each with a Bindu at the 
top. The chapter ends with the spiritual powers that the practitioner of this 
Shodhanyasa gets. 

11th Chapter 

In the 11 th Patala are described first the Nyasa of (1) Asana, (2) 
Vasinyadivagdevata, (3) Mulanga, (4) Navayoni, (5) Chaturvyuha, (6) 
Tattvanyasa, (7) Mulavidya, and (8) Sammohana. 

In the first, Asanas, i.e. Amritarnavasana, Potambuj asana, Atmasana, 
Chakrasana, Sarvamantrasana, Sadhyasana, Sadhyasiddhasana, 
Paryankashaktipithasana, and Mahapretasana respectively presided over by 
Tripura, Tripureshvari, Tripurasundari, Tripuravasini, Tripurashri, 
Tripuramalini, Tripurasiddha, Tripuramba, and Mahatripurabhairavi are to be 
contemplated upon in feet, knees, thighs, hips, private part, Muladhara, navel, 


heart and cavity in the head. The Mantras to be used are: (1) a.m aa.m sauH 
tripuraamR A itaarNavaasanaaya namaH (2) ai.m klii.m sauH 
tripureshvariipotaa,nujaasanaaya namaH (3) hrii.m klii.m sauH 
tripurasundaryaatmaasanaaya namaH (4) ai.m hvlii.m hsauH 
tripuravaasiniichakraasanaaya namaH (5) hsai.m hsklii.m hssauH 
tripurashriisarvamantraasanaaya namaH (6) hrii.m klii.m ble.m 
tripuramaaliniisaadhyaasanaaya namaH (7) hrii.m shrii.m sauH 
shivamahaapretapadmaasanaaya namaH. 

In the second, eight goddesses of speech are to be meditated upon as presiding 
deities of (1) Vowels, (2) Gutturals, (3) Palatals. (4) Linguals, (5) Dentals, (6) 
Labials, (7) Semi-vowels, and (8) Aspirates. Their names, seats and Kutas are 
(1) Vashini, cavity of the head, rbluu.m (2) Kameshvari, forehead, klhrii.m (3) 
Modini, middle or the eyebrows, nvlii.m (4) Vimala, throat yluu.m (5) Aruna, 
heart, jmrii.m (6)Jayini, navel, hasalavayuu.m (7)Sarveshvari, Linga, 
jhamarayuu.m (8) Kaulini, below the Linga, kshmrii.m 

In the third, the six limbs, i. e. heart, head, tuft of hair on the head, armour, eyes 
and the weapons are to be located in the five fingers of the hands and their palm 
and back. While doing so the practitioner is to mutter in each case the mantras of 
Shrividya twice. The six poses of the hands are prescribed for these six limbs, 
the three fingers — middle, ring and index for Hridaya; two fingers — mid and 
index for Shiras; thumb for Shikha; ten fingers for Kavacha, the three above 
referred to for eyes and the two above mentioned for Astra. 

In the fourth, Vashini etc. are to be meditated upon in the different parts of the 
body named in book and the muttering of all the three Kutas of Shrividya is to 
be done in each case. 

In the fifth, the four forms of Mahatripurasundari, i. e. Kameshvari, Vajreshvari, 
Bhagamalini and Mahatripurasundari are to be contemplated upon below the 
Linga, in the heart, in the middle of the eyebrows and in the cavity in the head 
with the four famous centres of her worship and their priests. 

The mantras to be muttered are: 

(1) ai.m agnichakre kaamagiripiiThe mitreshanaaathaatmake 
kaameshvariirudraatmashakti shriipaadukaayai namaH (2) klii.m suuryachakre 
j aalandharapiiThe ShaShThiishanaathaatmaka.m 

vajreshvariiviShNavaatmashakti shriipaadukaayai namaH (3) sauH somachakre 
puurNagiripiiThe uDDiishanaathaatmaka.m 
bhagamaaliniibrahmaatmashaktishriipaadukaayai namaH (4) turyabiija.m 


brahmachakre uduyaanapiiThe charyaanaathaatmake 
parabrahmaatmashaktishriipaadukaayai namaH 

In the sixth, the three Tattvas Atma, Vidya and Shiva are to be located in the 
three parts of the body, viz. (1) from feet to the place below the Linga, (2) 
thence to heart, (3) from the heart to the middle of the eyebrows, uttering the 
following mantras :- 

1. ai.m aatmatattvavyaapikaayai mahaatripurasundaryai namaH 

2. klii.m vidyaatattvavyaapikaayai mahaatripurasundaryai namaH 

3. sauH shivatattvavyaapikaayai mahaatripurasundaryai namaH 

In the seventh, the three Kutas of Shri vidya are to be located, in hands, etc. 
individually and the fourth bija is to have its place in the cavity in the head. The 
fifteen syllables of the Panchadasi are located in the cavity in the head, 
Muladhara, heart, eyes, ears, mouth, arms, back, knees and navel. 

In the eighth, the practitioner is to consider himself as endowed with a body of 
mantras and meditate upon Shrividya in the mantra form. While this is being 
done, Yonimudra is to be placed in the cavity of the head, forehead, middle of 
the eyebrows, face and heart. 

What has been described above relates to the external worship. As regards the 
internal, the practitioner is first to purify his mind and soul through pranayama 
which is said to be of the highest value in the spiritual domain. By Prana is 
meant the life breath and by Ayama the control thereof. Pranayama consists of 
the three functions — inhalation, exhalation and retention. 

Awakening of Kundalini. While doing the pranayama referred to above, the 
practitioner is to mutter mentally either the whole mantra or its initial syllable. 
The Kundalini lying dormant in the Muladhara is to be contemplated upon as a 
thin red flame rising upwards when awakened with the help of Aumkara and 
piercing the six life centres in its upward march, till it reaches Shiva and 
becomes united with Him in bliss. Thence she comes down again through the 
same way to Muladhara. The Kundalini while moving up from Muladhara to the 
heart receives the name of vahnikuNDalinii being fiery, from heart to the throat 
suuryakuNDalinii being solar and from throat to head somakuNDAlinii being 
lunar. The three Kutas respectively get assimilated to her in the three places 
referred to above. In the Bindu, the fourth form of Kundalini as embracing all 
the Bijas and all forms of light is to be contemplated upon. 

Meditation on Kundalini, which constitutes the inner worship, helps the 
practitioner to acquire freedom from all sins. 


12th Chapter 


In the 12 Patala the mental offering of worship and the mental approach to and 
unification with Mahatripurasundari are at length described. In the first, the 
practitioner is to sit on the prescribed Asana keeping his body erect and with the 
hands full of red flowers placed near the heart, close the eyes and feeling as it 
were the august presence of Mahatripurasundari in the heart, offer worship to 
her with the mental 16 requisites of worship. The Yogis and sages have recourse 
to this worship only. 

In the second, i.e., the Dhyanayoga, the practitioner has to select a solitary place 
and seat himself in a particular posture with all his mental operations brought 
under control. He should feel oneness with the Transcendental Self through 
absolute introspection. In order to rise to that plane of consciousness he has to 
immerge the different elements of which the world is composed in the causeless 
cause. The order in which these evolutes are absorbed from the following into 
the preceding is given as follows :— 

The earth element merges in the water, water in the fire, fire in the air, air in the 
ether, ether in the mind, mind in the ego, ego in the manifest, the manifest 
matter in the unmanifest, and the unmanifest in the Supreme Self. 

After the absorptive meditation is over, he has to think of evolution. In this he is 
to think of evolution of the world from the causeless cause through matter, ego, 
mind etc. down to the frog, Kalagnirudra, Adharashakti in the form of a 
crocodile and boar holding on the tooth the earth. There he has to think of the 
nectar-ocean, the coral island, the golden hill, the heavenly garden Kalpodyana 
and of streams and lakes. On the shore of the highest among the lakes he should 
imagine the existence of the desire-granting tree with a jewel-pavilion having 
four gates fitted with diamond doors and coral thresholds and other decorative 
parts. After having done so, he is to imagine the presence of one big lotus 
enclosed in another placed in the centre of the Simhasana arranged on a platform 
of jewels inside the pavilion described above. The outer lotus represents all the 
elements, its bulb the bliss, its stalk the consciousness, all the evolutes of 
Prakriti furnishing the thirtytwo leaves and the fifty letters furnishing the 
pericarp of the lotus. Inside the lotus he has to think of the sun, moon and fire 
one placed below another. In the fiery orb there stands the triangular mass of 
light borne by the five karanas. In the centre of this triangle stands the third lotus 
in which the practitioner is to think of the seven goddesses Tripura to 
Tripuramba. Of the last, beautiful description of each part of the body is given in 
detail in the text. While thinking so, the practitioner is to be at one with 


13th Chapter 

In this stress is laid first of all on the actual realization of the unity between the 
worshipper and the worshipped. Everything else used in the worship receives 
sanctity by it. A devotee is enjoined to worship Shrividya both mentally as wtll 
as physically in case he happens to be rich enough. All vessels required for 
worship may be of copper. A devotee may, if he can, make five vessels from 
five jewels which are named as Garuda, Manikya, Vajra, Vaidurya and Nila. 
The Bijas of the five jewels are gluu.m sluu.m pluu.m mluu.m nluu.m The pot 
which is to contain Vishesarghya is to get a place in the ceremonious manner 
between Shrichakra and the worshipper on a diagram drawn on the earth. The 
diagram is to consist of a rectangle, a hexagon, a circle and a triangle, one 
enclosing the other. The mantra to. be used is ai.m klii.m sauH 
mahaatripurasundaryaa arghyapaatraasana.m saadhyaami. 

The stand of the pot, the pot and the liquid poured into the pot represent the fire, 
the sun and the moon and hence the former are to receive the worship 
respectively of the Kalas of the latter. The liquid to be poured is to be one of the 
following: wine, milk, coconut-juice, sugar-cane juice, sugar, honey, ghee. 
Presence of the sacred waters is to be invoked in the pot from the solar orb with 
the Ankushamudra. Then the pot is to be covered over with the hands in the 
Matsyamudra. The jewels Manikya etc, are to be put into the liquid of the pot, 
the goddess of jewels being worshipped through the jewels. Her mantra is nine- 
syllabled as shrii.m hrii.m gluu.m sluu.m pluu.m mluu.m nluu.m hrii.m shrii.m 

The Matrika is to be contemplated upon in the form of a triangle, vowels 
occupying the base, consonants ka to ta and tha to sa the arms and ha and ksha 
the centre. The three angles and the centre are to be identified with Kamarupa, 
Jalandhara, Purnagiri and Uddyana presided over by the four forms of Tripura. 
Ananda-bhairava described as ten-armed, five-faced and having ten emblems 
and Suradevi similarly formed in his lap are to be worshipped inside the pot. 
Amritikarana, Sakalikarana and Paramikarana are to be done afterwards with 
Dhenumudra and Mahamudra as also with Musalamudra, Yonimudra and 
Galinimudra. The mantras of these are (1) hasakshamalavarayuu.m 
aanandabhairavaaya vauShaT.h (2) sahakshamalavarayuu.m suraadevyai 

In the purification the verses to be mattered are (1) hamsaH etc, (2) 
pratidviShNu etc. (3) tryambaka.m yajaamahe etc. (4) tadviShNoH etc. (5) 
viShNoryoni etc. The mantra ai.m klii.m etc. is to be muttered ten times. The 
last items of purification are to be done with the help of the Sandipini Vidya 


ai.m vada vada etc. At the end, the practitioner is to offer libation to Shrividya 
from the liquid thus consecrated. 

14th Chapter 

The 14 th Patala deals with the worshipping of Kameshvari. In it the practitioner 
is to offer the Asana on the Kamapitha to Kameshvari invoking the presence of 
Adharashakti and others upto Kameshvara who serve as her seat. Kameshvara is 
to be contemplated upon as four-armed, seated on the white lotus and holding in 
the left hand trident and bow and in the right white lotus and Bijapura. Then 
Kameshvari is to be contemplated upon as being seated in the lap of 
Kameshvara in response to the invocation with the mantra ai.m hrii.m sauH 
mahaatripurasundaryamR A itachaitanyamuurtim kalpayaami. The rites of 
removing the sinister influences and Digbandhana come after this. The vitalizing 
of the idol is to be conducted by the Sadhaka, after holding the breath and 
realizing through contemplation the presence of Mahatripurasundari in the heart, 
by conceptualizing the vitality in the handful of flowers after it comes out 
through the nostrils with the Bija ya.m 

Trikhanda and Avahani Mudras, which are described in the text, should be used 
as also the Avahanividya hrsaim hsklii.m hssrauH invoking the presence of 
Mahatripurasundari in the idol. 

This being over, the practitioner has to address his prayers to 
Mahatripurasundari for firm stay, for being eye to eye and mind to mind with 
the practitioner, for success in completion, for being invisible to the 
undeserving, for being blissful and finally for being merciful using the Mudras, 
such as are prescribed for these acts. 

After these preliminary rituals, comes the offering of three handfuls of flowers 
and three libations of the consecrated liquid with the mantras (1) ai.m klii.m 
sauH mahaatripurasundarii shriipaadukaa.m puujayaami (2) ai.m klii.m sauH 
mahaatripurasundarii shriipaadukaa.m tarpayaami. 

Exhibition of the nine Mudras Samksobhini to Yoni follows the offering of the 
following prayer to the Goddess :- 

"O Goddess: May you be kind to me, may you accept my worship as I, though 
poor physically as well as in material resources, offer it in a devotional spirit." 

After the exhibition of the Mudras, the Sadhaka is to present the seven items of 
offerings using namaH svadhaa vauShaT wherever necessary. 


Tarpana is to be done with the Tattva Mudra in which the thumb and the index 
fingers of the left hand are to be joined. At the end, come Japa and offer of the 
sacrifice, ointment, collyrium, mirror and umbrella. 

15th Chapter 

The 15 th chapter describes the things to be offered in worship. These are Asana, 
Padya, Arghya, Achamana, Madhuparka, Snana, Vastra, Bhushana, Gandha, 
Anjana, Pushpa, Dhupa, Dipa, and Naivedya. 

Asana or the seat. It is to be either of gold or silver or cloth or jewels or flowers 
or wood. Among the cloths red blanket is preferable. 

Padya means water for footwash. Cold water mixed with sandal-wood paste and 
Agaru is to be offered either in a pot of gold or silver or in a conch. 

Arghya for the head. This is to consist of white mustard beans, sesamum, milk, 
red sandal and red flowers mixed in water. This is to be offered in a conch like 
other articles with a particular mantra given in the text. 

Achamana or water for sipping. This is to be pure and scented with camphor and 
Agaru and offered in the same pot as is prescribed for Padya. 

Madhuparka. This consists of curd, ghee, water, honey, sugar and sugar-cane 
juice or of cocoanut-juice, sugar, curd and ghee in equal proportions and honey 
in a larger quantity and offered in a bronze or silver pot. 

Snana. Water mixed with camphor, Agaru, musk, Gorochana, saffron, cocoanut- 
juice, honey, sugarcane-juice, sugar, five products of cow, particular herbs 
called Sarvausadhi, is to be offered in a jug or conch for bath. 

Vastra. A pair of cloths figured and silken is to be presented for dress. 

Bhushana. Sixteen kinds of ornaments detailed in the text all made of gold and 
set with jewels are to serve as Bhushana. 

Gandha. Five kinds of perfumery obtainable from certain fragrant substances by 
powdering, friction, burning, pressing, and from muskdeer are also to be offered. 

Anjana. This is collyrium for application to the eyes. It is to be made of 
lampblack collected in a golden pot from a burning lamp having ghee or oil and 
scented with camphor. 


Pushpa. Flowers to be offered are to be fresh. Certain species such as Bakula, 
Kesara etc. are declared dear to Tripura. Garlands also made of these flowers 
please her very much. 

Dhupa, or the incense. It is to be offered in a pot and consists of sixteen 
substances, Patra to Agara given in the text. 

Dipa. Lamps preferably of ghee with a wick of cotton are offered for 
illumination. These should be of gold or silver or earth or iron and placed on 
stands of similar material with the shape of a tree. 

Naivedya, or food. It comes last and is to be presented and placed either on the 
right or on the left or in front, lamps coming always either on the right or in 
front, incense on the left or in front, scents, flowers and ornaments always in 

16th Chapter 

Sixteenth Patala is devoted to the description of the offering, such as, drink and 
food and of the way and varieties of salutation. Among the first comes wine. 
This is to be distilled in the following manner: - 

Well filtered sugarcane -juice should be allowed to grow stale for some time. 
Mango juice and honey should be mixed with it as also juices of jujuba, rose- 
apple fruit, dates, cocoanut, wine and intoxicative powders such as of Mohini, 
Jati, Datura, Jatiphala, mace, cardamom, black and long pepper, dry ginger and 
Triphala. The same should be scented with camphor and kept in a gold or silver 
or glass vessel and mixed with sugar and allowed to remain corked, being 
covered over with red cloth for seven nights. When at the end it becomes thus 
prepared and ready for use, it should be scented again with sandal paste, Aguru 
and camphor. This kind of wine is reserved for the more or less abstemious 
people and for those otherwise-minded a common species of the same is 
prescribed. Its use is admissible only in a strictly ceremonious way. 

The four kinds of food detailed as chewable. suckable, lickable and drinkable 
come after drink. Every variety of solid food is to be offered when properly 
cooked and spiced. Every sweet fruit also is to be offered in cups of gold or 
silver and food in dishes or gold, silver, copper or stone or even in lotus leaves. 
The mantra to be muttered in this offering is mahaatripurasundari vaivedya.m 
gR A ihaaNa. After offering the perfumed water for sipping come the offerings to 
five lifebreaths Prana etc., with the five fingers. Offering of dessert comes last 
except Namaskara. The latter is said to be of three varieties as physical, lingual 


and mental. The physical again is of three kinds as that in which hands are 
folded and placed on the head and as that in which the head only touches the 
earth. The Lingual also is of three kinds. First is that in which self-composed 
prayers are offered the second in which prayers from the Puranas, Vedas or the 
Tantras are offered and the third in which prayers composed by others are 
offered. The mental also has three kinds according as the mind thinks well, ill or 

Pradakshina or circumambulation is included in the bowing. The former is of six 
varieties as triangular, hexagonal, semi-circular, circular, staff-like with eight 
limbs and the terrific. Moving from the south to the north-west, thence to the 
north-east and again thence to the south goes by the name of Trikona. That from 
the middle of the south to the north-west, thence to the north-east and thence to 
the middle of the south and again from the south-east to the south-west, thence 
to the middle of north, and thence to the south-east, goes by the name of 

Moving from the middle of the south to the north-west and thence turning round 
and going to the middle of the south, goes by the name of Ardhachandra. 
Moving with the right hand extended and the head bent from the middle point in 
front of the Deity, around from the right is called Pradaksina. 

Rising from one's own seat, going back several steps and then prostrating on the 
earth is called Danda. 

Bowing in which the earth is touched with chin, mouth, nose, jaws, eyes, ears, 
and cavity in head goes by the name of Ashtanga. Touching the earth with the 
skull goes by the name of Ugra. 

17th Chapter 

In the 17 th Patala worship, in the nine component parts of Shrichakra, of the 
attendant deities classified under nine categories technically called 
Prakatayoginis etc., is given along with the description of the Mudras and their 
use. In the first part called Trailokyamohana represented by the three rectangles 
the worship is to be conducted from the right unlike other parts in which the left 
side is to be adhered to. In the external rectangle Buddha as the great Lord of 
Yoginis is to be worshipped with the Mantra bu.m buddhaaya namaH along with 
the ten psychic powers Anima. etc. The first four powers occupy the quarters 
beginning with west, second four the sub-quarters beginning with the north-west 
and the last two come below and above. The mantra to be used in the worship of 
a psychic power is hrii.m shrii.m and the name of the psychic power and 


shriipaadukaa.m puujayaami. In the inner rectangle the eight mothers Brahmani 
etc. and the eight Bhairavas Asitanga etc. are to be adored. In the innermost 
rectangle the Mudra Devis Sarvasanksobhini etc. receive their worship. For the 
description of Sarvasanksobhini Mudra see the text. The Bija of the Mudra is 

In the second part, i.e. sixteen-petalled lotus bearing the name of 
Sarvashapuraka sixteen datal eternities, and Brahma receive their worship. The 
Mantra of Brahma and the Bija of Dravini Mudra to be shown here are 
respectively o.m brahmaNe namaH and drii.m. 

In the third part, i.e. eight-petalled lotus called Sarvasanksobhana, Shiva and 
Uma, the eight Guptatara Yoginis Anangakusuma etc. are adored. Mantras of 
Shiva and Uma, eight Guptatara Yoginis and the Bija of the Mudra are klii.m 
shivaaya namaH, hrii.m umaayai namaH, Gutturals, Palatals, Unguals, dentals, 
labials, semi-vowels, aspirates, La ksha and klii.m. 

In the fourth i.e. fourteen sided figure called Sarvasaubhagyadayaka the sun- 
god, the Sampradaya-yoginis Sarvasankshobhini etc. and the Mudra called 
Sarvavashakari come in. The Bija of the Mudra is bluu.m 

In the fifth, i. e. external decagon called Sarvarthasadhaka Vishnu (as 
Hrishikesha), Kulakaula-yoginis and Sarvonmadakari Mudra find thir worship. 
The mantra of Vishnu and the Bija of the Mudra are klii.m hR A ishiikeshaaya 
namaH and saH 

In the sixth part i.e. inner decagon called Sarvarakshakara, Vishnu 
(Trailokyamohana), Nigarbhayoginis, Sarvajna etc. and the Mahankusha Mudra 
receive their worship. The Bija of Vishnu and the Mudra are klii.m and kro.m 

In the seventh part i.e. octagon called Sarvarogahara, Rahasya-yogints Vashini 
etc. receive their worship. The Mudra to be exhibited is khechari of which the 
Bija is hasakhaphre.m 

In the eighth part i.e. the triangle called Sarvasiddhiprada Kameshvari, 
Vajreshvari and Bhagamalini, the three shaktis respectively of Rudra, Vishnu 
and Brahma are to be worshiped in the apex, left and right sides of the triangle. 
These Shaktis are called Atirahasya-yoginis. Mudra to be exhibited there is Bija- 
mudra ,of which the Bija is hsauH 

In the ninth part i.e. centre of the triangle called Sarvanandamaya Parapara- 
rahasya-yogini i.e. Tripura-bhairavi is to be worshipped along with 


Mokshasiddhi and the lion the vehicle of the Goddess. The Mudra to be shown 
is Yoni-mudra of which the Bija is ai.m 

The deity-in-chief is to be worshippod in all the eight previous parts under 
different names— Tripura, Tripureshvari, Triparasundari, Tripura-vasini, 
Tripurashri, Tripuramalini, Tripurasiddha and Tripuramba. 

For the description of the Mudras see the text. 

18th Chapter 

The 18 th chapter gives a detailed description of Japa. It is said to consist in the 
repeated muttering of certain syllables. Meditation on and muttering of the 
Mantra are prescribed to be successive, both being necessary for acquiring 
psychic powers. The rosary meant for Japa is to be considered as consisting of 
the letters of the alphabet in both the orders, successive and reverse as also of 
their eight groups. It therefore contains 108 beads. In the absence of the rosary a 
devotee is to keep an account of his muttering by using finger-joints. Top and 
mid-joints of the index fingers are to be avoided. The rosary made of crystal etc. 
before being used for Japa is to be placed either in front or on the left hand and 
then to be sanctified with proper worship after being besprinkled with water. 
The mantra of Mala is ai.m maa.m maale mahaamaale sarvashaktisvaruupiNi 
chaturvargastvayi nyastastasvmaat.h me siddhidaa bhava 

After being so purified in the said manner, it is to be held in the right hand with 
the mantra glau.m avighna.m kuru maale tvam.h Care is to be taken in rotating it 
in a cautious manner, so that it may not slip down from the hand. The rosary 
along with Yantra, mantra and mudra is strictly prohibited from being shown to 
any body. The Index finger is not used at all in the rotation of the rosary. The 
five fingers, thumb to the little finger are to be used in the Japa respectively 
meant for emancipation, destruction of the enemies, earning of wealth, 
pacification and attraction. Virasana is helpful to Japa. Japa is of three kinds 
loud, low and mental, the loud being inferior to the low, and the latter to the 
mental. It is to be done neither too quickly nor too slowly. The mind at the time 
of Japa should be entirely withdrawn from the sense-objects. Unlike a hymn, 
Japa is always to be mental in the case of Shrividya. The minimum number of 
times that Japa is to be done comes to 108, the middle to a thousand and the 
maximum to ten thousand. Rules to be observed in Japa are that the practitioner 
is lightly-dressed, must not have his hands wrapped up with cloth and must have 
his head naked and free from cares, be neither angry nor hasty, neither diseased 
nor hungry. He must above all have his mind concentrated. 


Japa at the end is dedicated to Shrividya. Pranava (Omkara) as forming the 
essence of the Vedas is to precede and follow. Japa is always to be accompanied 
by Homa (sacrifice). Offerings in the Homa should be equal to the 10th part of 
the mutterings of Japa. In case a practitioner be not in a position to do Homa he 
is advised to mutter the Mulamantra twice the number of the offerings of Homa. 
Worship offered to the Deity with the various prescribed articles helps the 
practitioner to get desirable objects determined in each case by the former. The 
latter are described at length in the text. The nine Mudras are to be exhibited at 
the beginning and the end of worship. 

The following things lead to success in worship :- 

Solitude, Spiritual purity, abundant purity of the worshipping material, presence 
of sweet-smelling substances, mental fortitude, affablehess of manners, nobility 
of disposition, beautiful dress, devotional tone etc. 

19th Chapter 

In the 19 th chapter worship and offerings to Vatuka, Yoginis, Kshetrapala and 
Ganesha are described. The latter are to be located in the four diagrams drawn in 
north-east, south-east, southwest and north-west of the seat of Shrichakra. 
Offerings are to consist of various edible (kind of meat), fish, sugar, curd, milk 
and flour. 

Vatuka is to be meditated upon as dwarfish, lotus -eyed, gold-yellow and four- 
armed bearing in the hands mace, conch, lotus and disc. The mantras of worship 
and offering to Vatuka with the left hand thumb and ring-finger are blo.m 
baTukaaya nama ehyehi deviiputra baTukanaatha kapilajaTaabhaarabhaasvara 
trinetra jvaalaamukha sarvavighnaan.h naashaya naashaya 

sarvopachaarasahita.m bali.m gR A hNa gR A hNa svaahaa 

Yoginis. These are of optional bodily form, gold-yellow, wearing the garland of 
skeletons, dressed in red and bearing in arms linga, noose, skull and goad. 
Mantra of offering with the left hand thumb, mid-finger and ring-finger is yaa.m 
yoginibhyaH sarvavarNa.myoginibhyo hu.m phaT.h svaahaa 

Kshetrapala. He is described as collyrium-black and bearing sword, skull, trident 
and small hand-drum. Mantra of the offering with the left-hand fisted and 
having the index-finger stretched is kshaa.m kshii.m kshuu.m kshai.m kshau.m 
kshaH kshetrapaala dhuupadiipaadisahita.m bali.m gR A hNa gR A hNa svaahaa 

Ganesha. He is described as elephant-headed, four-armed, naked, big bellied, 
holding noose, goad and skull-bowl filled with wine, with shakti in the lap. 


Mantra of the offering with the left hand fisted having the mid finger raised up is 
gaa.m gii.m guu.m gaNapataye varavarada sarvajana.m me vashamaanaya 
bali.m gR A hNa gR A hNa svaahaa 

After making offerings to various kinds of beings the practitioner is to offer 
himself with the mantra itaHpuurva etc. and the prayers imploring the goddess 
to accept the offerings overlooking the errors of commission and omission. 
Towards the end of the chapter it is described how the practitioner has first to 
immerge the attendant deities in the goddess and then the goddess herself with 
the help of Pranayama withdrawn from the outside world in the lotus of his own 
heart. Shoshika , the goddess that is entitled to the Nirmalya receives the 
practitioner's attention at the end. 

20th Chapter 

In this Shoshika is described at length. Her Mantra is given in two forms as 
follows (a) uchChiShTa etc. (b) ai.m hrii.m etc. She is described as seated on a 
corpse, dressed in red, bearing in two arms skull-bowl and scissors. The 
practitioner of her mantra is to make offerings to her and soon after taking food 
and without washing his body mutter her mantra. Her Homa and Tarpana are to 
be performed in a rectangle drawn on the ground with curd, white mustard and 
rice. By offering various kinds of meat in the fire in her name the practitioner 
acquires certain desired objects. These are detailed in the text. 

21st Chapter 

In the above the last rites of worship are described. The practitioner is first of all 
advised to offer Nirmalya to Ucchistamatangi or Soshika taking care that no 
drop falls down on the earth. The water in the conch is to be held in the left hand 
and after sanctifying the same with mutterings of the mantra the body is to be 
besprinkled with the same water through the right hand. Washings of the feet of 
the goddess are to be drunk and the remainder is to be used in rubbing the head 
and the rest of the body. Arghya is offered to the Sun-god with his mantra for 
completing the ceremony. In this the knees of the worshipper are to touch the 
ground and the mind to be concentrated. Salutation to and seeing of the sun are 
to begin and end the ceremony. The place where the vessels have been arranged 
should be duly washed with the water and the washing should be thrown into the 
water or near the root of a tree. After offering the food to the preceptor and his 
wife or in their absence to the girls, the remaining part of the same should be 
eaten by thedevotee. Such a food is considered as Amrita. Sipping water before 
and after is necessary as also reciting the following prayer:- shivo daataa shivo 
bhoktaa etc. 


Ladies and Brahmins are to be fed each time the worship is performed. Offering 
of food to the preceptor, girls, Brahmins and Cow helps to remove the sin of 
errors committed in worshipping. In doing Japa the concentration of the mind is 
to be aimed at by believing in and feeling identity with Shrividya either as 
transcendent or as immanent. 

22nd Chapter 

This chapter describes the duties of a Sadhaka. These are:- (1) Realization of the 
Supreme Reality as identical with the individual soul. Anything offered with this 
conviction receives sacredness. (2) The worship of Tripura. It is to be done 
either as Nitya or as Naimittika or as Kamya. By the first is meant that which is 
done everyday and omission of which is sinful. By the second is meant that 
which is done occasionally with a definite end in view and failure in the 
performance of which is artended with the evil consequences. The last denotes 
that kind of worship which is done avowedly to gain some object. In rendering 
all these kinds of worships it is to be kept in view that nothing is done contrary 
to the popular usage. Worship in all its forms if done without any desire to gain 
this or that object is viewed as Sattvika. (3) Performance of the acts that are 
prescribed for him by the Shruti and Smriti such as service to the parents and 
entertainment of friends and relations, maintenance of protection of the 
dependents; preservation of peace and order with a view to honouring the 
righteous and punishing the wicked. (4) Meditation upon Tripura Sundari and 
Tripura Bhairava four times a day in the morning, mid-day, evening and 

23rd Chapter 

This describes the importance of worshipping the girls, their prescribed ages and 
the way in which they are to be worshipped. Maidens also are mentioned in this 
chapter to receive the worship of the practitioner as representing the eight 
mothers Brahmi etc. 

24 th Chapter 

It describes the importance and fruit of offering worship to the girls and the 
Prayaschitta or penance, that is to be done by the devotee when he misses 
performance of daily worship. It lays stress on the daily worship as compared 
with the occasional or purposeful and instructs that on the 14th, 8th or 15th days 
of the bright half of the month as also on the 14th day of the dark half falling on 
Tuesday, Yajna or sacrifice should be offered to Tripura. Yajna is considered as 
a body in which meditation, worship, muttering of the mantra and Homa 


constitute the four hands, devotion head, faith heart, skill in action eyes, 
knowledge of the Atman the Soul and Nyasas the remaining parts of the body. 
Such a 14th day of the dark half of the month on which Tuesday and the 
constellation Tishya fall simultaneously is the most sacred day for the devotee of 

25th Chapter 

This chapter is devoted to the description of the sacred spots in India and the 
merits that a devotee gains by offering worship in these places. The sacred 
places are river banks, caves, mountain tops, sources of water, confluences of 
rivers, forests, gardens, mountain feet, Tulasi groves, cow-sheds, root of the 
Ashvattha or Amalaki, temple of Shiva, sea shore of ocean, solitary places and 
those where the preceptor lives or which help in the concentration of the mind, 
the cities of Benares and Dwarika, the Vindhya mountain, Aryavarta, 
Brahmavarta, Prayaga, Pushkara, the river Karatoya, Nandikunda etc. It also 
tells that the devotee is not held back from worship by the consideration of 
impurity arising from death or birth and that he should offer worship mentally in 
times of such a calamity. 

26th Chapter 

It deals with Diksha or initiation. It is necessary for the practitioner of mantras 
because it imparts right knowledge and removes sins. Before having been done 
by man to man initiation was started by the holy line of nine divine teachers, viz. 
Prakasha, Vimarsha, Ananda, Jnana, Satya, Purna, Svabhava, Pratibha, Subhaga, 
the first three living eternally in heaven, the middle three partly in heaven and 
partly on earth and the last three only on earth. These receive their worship 
between Vimala and Jayani in Shrichakra. Qualifications are laid down of both 
the initiator and the initiate. The former among other things must have all good 
qualities = be free from vanity, greedless, healthy, pure, speaking truth and 
knowing sacred laws of the Tantras. The latter must be orthodox, merciful, 
attached to the teacher, considerate and greedless. He should avoid all acts of 
indecency, especially when in the presence of the teach and should have as 
much faith in him as in his own God or Mantra and be respectful towards him. 
The months which are prescribed for initiation are given in the following order 
of importance :- 

Assoon, Katak, Baishakh, Phagan, Maghar, Chet, Har and Magh. Days of the 
lunar reckon 

2 nd , 7 th , an. 

lunar reckoning and the week days prescribed for the said purpose are 15 th , 5 th , 
2 nd , 7 th , and 13 th and 10 th and Sunday, Thursday, Friday, Monday and 


The initiation is said to be of three kinds that of mantras, that of Shakti and that 
of Shiva. The first involves the use of mantras, worship, postures, meditation 
and concentration etc. The second has a reference to that in which the initiator 
infuses his own spiritual power in the initiate. The third is that in which a 
spiritualist par excellence sanctifies the person with no regard to qualifications 
merely by his glance to the extent that the Reality becomes visible to him. 

The end of the chapter explains the details of initiation such as selection and 
preparation of a place for initiation, making offering to Vastupala together with 
the Vedic recitation and blessing of the learned Brahmins, sowing of seeds, and 
rendering worship to the Dikpalas with a view to invoking their help in 
performing initiation, purification of the place, Shrichakra and the disciple with 
Panchagavya, performing Homa and disclosing the mantra called 
Svapnamanava, i. e. hili hili shuulapaaNaye svaahaa to the disciple and putting 
him to sleep afterwards, The disciple is instructed to carefully remember the 
dreams good or bad he has seen in sleep. The good dreams are those in which 
the objects seen are a girl, an umbrella, a chariot a lamp, a palace, a river, 
saffron etc. Bad dreams on the other hand, involve reference to an ass, a crow, 
ditch etc. The preceptor has to make a hundred offering with the Astra mantra in 
case the initiate sees bad dreams. 

27th Chapter 

This also is devoted to the description of initiation. The seeker after initiation is 
to approach the initiator with the request for initiation after having duly done 
worship to gods and the manes. Initiator is to enter the pavilion raised for the 
purpose and instal a water-pot of gold or silver or copper on the Shrichakra 
drawn on the earth. The water-pot is to be filled with fragrant substances and 
certain herbs and varieties of earth, and wrapped with a couple of cloths. The 
same is to be placed on a stand. The stand, the water-pot and the water 
respectively representing the Fire, the Sun and the Moon are to receive worship 
through their Kalas. The candidate for initiation is asked after this to fill his 
hands with flowers and throw them so as to see whether their throw is in the 
auspicious direction or otherwise. In the latter case the initiator is to ward off the 
evil by performing a Homa. After performing worship to the attendant deities of 
Tripurasundari sacrificial food is to be prepared of which a part is to be offered 
to her and the rest to the fire, care being taken that the fire is ablaze. The 
candidate is to have his face covered with a cloth and then be besprinkled with 
the water from Vishesharghya and the initiator is to request the goddess to be 
kind to the candidate and inspire him with her devotion. After this he has to 
receive instruction from the initiator as to the line of action he should follow in 
future. The initiator should imagine that the fetters of sins binding the body of 


the candidate have been burnt down with the fire of Kundalini rising from the 
Muladhara to the Brahmarandhra and also enter his body through the Yogic 
power and unite his soul with his own. After having him seated on a diagram of 
the alphabet the onitiator should bathe him with the water of the water-pot, 
muttering the three Bijas of the Mulamantra and then dress him and oint him 
with sandal- wood and other pastes. He should also instruct the candidate to 
perform the Matrika-nyasa and the Mantra-nyasa at the end of which his face is 
to be unveiled and he sees things required for the worship and takes food, while 
muttering the mantras of the Tattvas with the Mudra of morsels. Then the 
initiator acquaints him with the mantras of the Guru and Bala and the mantra of 
the candidate's choice or all mantras at once. In doing the latter the initiator 
keeps his foot on the head of the candidate. He also gives him a new name of 
initiation consisting of two or three syllables with the word aanandanaatha 
coming at the end. Having thus brought him up to the same footing with himself 
in the spiritual sphere, the initiator should embrace him and smell him on the 
head. In order to keep his own spiritual power intact the teacher should also 
perform the Japa of the Mulamantra one thousand and eight times. The cadidate 
should offer due and costly presents so that his preceptor may be satisfied. 

28th Chapter 

In this are given the instructions regarding Purashcharana which is necessary for 
obtaining success in the mantra. Purushcharana means performance of the Japa 
of a mantra either one thousand and eight times or fifty thousand times. This is 
necessary to remove the obstacles due to lack of faith, scepticism and the 
demerits of the previous lives. This may be done either by the disciple or by the 
preceptor or by some worthy Brahmin in some sacred place either on the 14th or 
the 8 th or the 15th day of the dark half of the month. The practitioner is to keep a 
fast for the previous day and perform worship to Brahmins or teachers, Ganesha, 
mother deities and manes. The Japa is to be done in a suitable place which is to 
be selected carefully by testing the same with the help of the diagram called 
Kurmachakra consisting of nine sections in which the alphabet or the Matrika is 
arranged in a prescribed manner. 

The rosary to be used is to consist of the beads of pearl, crystal etc. Beads may 
number a hundred, fifty or twentyeight. One of them which stands for the Mem 
should be the biggest, the rest being gradually smaller in size and each bead 
should have a knot. The holy articles of food, such as, curd, milk, Ghee etc. 
should be taken and those of the opposed character should be avoided. The 
practitioner should also observe sleeping on the earth, celibacy, silence, absence 
of envy, three daily baths, avoidance of mean acts, daily worship, daily charity, 
praising of the deity, occasional worship, reliance on the teacher and the deity 


and avoid the company of and eating with women, Sudra, outcast, etc., lying, 
cheating, deceitful talk, hearing the music and seeing a dance etc. Japa should 
not be done when the doer is without a Pavitra in the hand, naked, with the head 
covered, without a seat, asleep, going or standing in the street, dark places or 
talking. It should not be continued on seeing, talking to and hearing an outcast, 
sneezing, discharging the wind and yawning. Everyday such an amount of Japa 
should be done from the morning till midday as has been fixed per day. 

There should not be a pause of even one day in the period of Purashcharana. At 
the end of Japa the offering should be made to the extent of its 10th part in the 
purifying fire. Tarpana, Marjana and the feeding of the Brahmins should be done 
respectively to the extent of the 10th part of the Homa, 10th part of the Tarpana 
and 10th part of the Marjana. 

The five acts of a sacred bath, purging of the sins, offering water to the Sun, 
sipping of water and Pranayama come after the above. The large scale worship 
is to be conducted at the end to complete the Parashcharan. 

There is yet another way of performing the same. According to this the Sadhaka 
is to keep a fast previous to the day on which a Solar or Lunar eclipse fails and 
stand in the river navel-deep and mutter the mantra during the time of the 
eclipse, and after having done so perform Homa etc. 

29th Chapter 

In the above the practitioner is instructed to mutter the mantra of Devi with his 
wife at the time of midnight, because anything done of religious merit at this 
time has got far greater significance than if done at others. Performance of Japa 
nine-hundred thousand times of Devi is calculated to qualify the practitioner for 
approach to her. 

This is to be done in the following manner: - 

Three hundred thousand times when the practitioner has to concentrate his mind 
upon Kundalini in the Muladhara centre coiling herself round a phallic mass of 
light called Svayambhu. Again three hundred thousand times in the heart with 
the mind fixed on Kundalini with the Linga as above called Bana. Lastly the 
same number of times in the head with attention fixed on Kundalini with, the 
Linga called Itara. 

Mind loses its separate entity and becomes one with the object of meditation 
when Japa is performed a crore times. The serpent power lying dormant is to be 
awakened and raised from centre to centre in the body of the Sadhaka and these 


centres number nine and are located in the Muladhara, Linga, navel, heart, 
throat, middle of the eyebrows and so on. The practitioner is advised farther to 
see that the mautra when muttered is not subjected to the impurity, attendant on 
birth and death. Each breath before its beginning and termination is said to have 
this pollution. Immunity from such impurity is obtained by that practitioner who 
knows the meaning of the mantra, the life of the mantra and the Yonimudra. 

The meaning of the mantra of Devi Tripurasundari is said to be sixfold, i.e. 
literal meaning, traditional meaning, inner meaning, Kaulika meaning, occult 
meaning and real meaning. 

According to the literal meaning, the mantra is to be understood as implying the 
union of Shiva and Shakti because the constituent syllables of the same 
represent either Shiva or Shakti. Hence the first part of the mantra called 
Vagbhava, i.e. ha sa ka la hrii.m represents Varna Shakti, Brahma, Goddess of 
wisdom, volition and Purvbamnaya, the second called Kamaraja, i.e. ha sa ka ha 
la hrii.m, Jyeshta Shakti, Vishnu, Goddess of earth, cognition and 
Dakshinamanya, and the third called Shakti, i e. sa ka la hrii.m, Raudri Shakti, 
Rudra, action and Pachimnaya. The syllable at the end of all these parts 
represents Ambika Shanti, Shambhu, Santa, all the three aspects volition etc. 
and Uttaramnaya. 

All these parts are further viewed as representatives of the three acts of creation, 
sustenance and destruction. In this way in the Vagbhava with reference to the 
creation as beginning, ha denotes Brahma, sa Goddess of wisdom; with 
reference to the same as continuing (considered as sustenance) ka denotes 
Vishnu, la Goddess of earth; with reference again to the same as ending, ha 
denotes Rudrani and ra Rudra and the syllable ii denotes Shiva Shakti and their 
combination (Anakhya). In the Kamaraja ha and sa represent continuity as 
beginning, ka & la continuity as continuous, ha continuity as ending and ii as 
Anakhya. Addition of ha in this part indicates that it refers to the stage of 
continuity. In the Shakti, sa as abbreviation of ha sa denotes destruction as 
beginning, ka la destruction as continuity, ha destruction as ending and ii the 
same as before. 

According to the Sampradayartha ha denotes sky ka air ra fire sa water and la 
earth, giving birth respectively to sky etc. The goddess of the mantra is to be 
meditated upon as identical with the whole unvierse. The fifteen syllables of the 
mantra respectively represent also the 15 qualities of the elements, i.e. one of the 
sky, two of the air, three of the fire, four of the water and five of the earth. 


The mantra when analyzed into its constituents including both vowels and 
consonants resolves itself into the 37 parts as five vowels (four a + one ii) and 
six consonants ha sa ka la ha ra in the first part, as six vowels (five a + one ii) 
and seven consonants ha sa ka ha la ha ra in the second part, as four vowels 
(three a + one ii) and five consonants sa ka la ha ra in the third part, as three 
Bindus at the end of these parts and as a whole. These 37 constituents represent 
the 36 categories both individually and collectively. The six ha's in the mantra 
represent the sound as effect (fivefold) and as cause. The three ii's and the 
Bindu at their end stand for the four forms of touch, three ra's represent three 
aspects of form, two sa's represent two kinds of water, gross and subtle and the 
third. Sa stands for the connection between water and nectar. Three la's 
represent the earth as existing in the three worlds, three ka's also represent three 
classes of cognisers - Ashuddha, Shuddha and Mishr, 12 a' s represent Jiva as 
such, Jiva as breath, Jiva as spirit, three Bindus, purusha, Raga, Vidya, Kala, 
Niyati, Kala, Maya, Shuddhavidya, Ishvara and Sadashiva and three Nadas, 
Shanti, Shakti and Shambhu. 

According to the inner meaning, the mantra reminds of the identity between 
Shiva, the teacher and the disciple. 

According to the Kaulika meaning it reminds of the identity between the mantra, 
the diagram, the deity, the teacher and the disciple. Identity between the mantra 
and the diagram is thus established: - 

Three la's = three rectangles, three sa's = three circles enclosing the two lotuses, 
thrice three parts of hrii.m, i.e. ha ra ii = nine triangles, three ha's = one 14 sided 
figure and two decagons, three ka's = the centre. 

Identity between the diagram and the deity is shown as below: - 

One hundred and eleven deities that are worshippod in the different parts of the 
diagram attend upon the Devi and hence she is the main deity of the chakra. She 
is also manifest in the form of the planets counting nine as she constitutes the 
essence of the moon, the sun and the fire, volition cognition and action, Sattva, 
Rajas and Tamas. 

She appears in the form of constellations representing sense organs (5) active 
organs (5) sense and action objects (10) mind, wisdom, ego, chitta, matter, 
qualities, and spirit. 

The six Yoginis Dakini to Hakini as presiding deities of the six constituents of 
the body skin etc. and the eight mothers Brahmi etc. as presiding over vowels, 
gutturals, palatals, Unguals, dentals, labials, semi-vowels and aspirates are mere 


representations of the Devi. As one with the ten vital currents, limited soul and 
supreme soul she appears as twelve signs of the zodiac. 

The above forms of Ganesha are also traceable from the mantra. The three parts 
of the mantra respectively represent Vaikhari, Madhyama, and Pashyanti as 
presiding over the three groups of sixteen letters each (tha to sa, ka to ta, a to 
aH). Hence Devi the deity of the mantra stands as the mistress of all the forms of 

As the mantra has three parts, three Bindus and three Nadas, it reminds of her 
planetary form. Again as it possesses three parts having five letters (ha ra ii 
Bindu and Nada) at the end of each in addition to the remaining letters 
numbering 12 she is to be considered as one with constellations. As the six 
letters suggestive of Shakti, i. e. three hrii.m and three la's represent Yoginis she 
assumes their form. Similarly all the letters of the mantra excepting the three 
ending hrii.m counting 12 stand for the 12 signs of zodiac and hence she appears 
in the form of Rashis also. 

The identity between the teacher and the taught 

This can be acquired and realized just as that between the Deity and her body 
either as a mantra or as chakra, which has been described above. 

According to the occult meaning the mantra reminds the practitioner again and 
again to be attentive to the idea of identity between his self and Kundalini which 
wakes up in the Muladhara and rises from there to the lunar seat in the head. 

According to the real meaning the Sadhaka has to merge himself in the 
Transcendental Self. 

30th Chapter 

The three parts of the incantation of Devi known by the terms Vagbhava, 
Kamaraja and Shakti together with the Hamsa-mantra are described in this 
chapter, ha and sa of ha.msa are said to be representative of the vital breath and 
the soul, existence and intelligence, Shiva and Shakti. This mantra is called 
Ajapa because it is not to be muttered but to be meditated upon so much so that 
the practitioner is to realize his unity with the Transcendental Self. Of the 
Matrika or the Sanskrit alphabet, vowels constitute the breath and Bindu and 
Visarga consciousness. Every incantation becomes lifeless, as it were, if not 
possessing Bindu, Visarga, ha, sa and ii. shrii.m hrii.m ha.msaH ai.m klii.m 


soha.m hrii.m shrii.m is supposed to vitalize every mantra as do Bodhini and 
Dipini. Meditation on Kundalini in the form of a flame, if accompanied by the 
three Kutas above referred to, leads the practitioner to acquire respectively 
extraordinary wisdom, power of charming and immunity from the effects of 

The meaning of Kamakala and what it stands for and other details regarding the 
same are given at the end of the chapter. 

31st Chapter 

This chapter gives the details regarding the Homa or sacrifice. These are 
offerings to be made, formation of the Kunda and the diagram, sacrificial pots, 
the incantations meant to invoke the fire etc. Particular objects obtainable from 
making particular offerings are also fully mentioned together with the measure 
and weight of the latter at the end of the chapter. 

32nd Chapter 

How a particular ring is to be prepared and how the same is to be worn by the 
worshipper of Devi are mentioned in this chapter. The ring like the letters of the 
Sanskrit alphabet, is to be considered as identical with the Sun, Moon and Fire. 
Hence the same is to be made up of gold, silver and copper as representing Sun, 
Moon and Fire. The metals named above are to be in the ratio of 12, 16 and 10. 
The ring is to be washed with the five products of cow and five Amritas on a 
bright Tuesday. The alphabet should be written in the form of a lotus and the 
nine pots full of perfume, water and jewels should occupy the place of the eight 
leaves and the centre of the lotus. In the central pot should be placed the ring the 
three parts whereof should be worshipped as Moon. Sun and Fire with the three 
Bijas of Devi and with the three groups of letters, 16 vowels, 24 consonants ka 
to bha and ten other consonants ya to ksha. 

Nyasa of Sammohini and Matrika comes after this. The goddess of the latter is 
to be meditated upon as three-eyed, moon-white and wearing the emblems 
rosary, goad, arrows, noose, two lotuses, bow and book. After offering the 
worship with flowers, lamps etc., together with that of attendant deities and 
muttering the mantra a thousand times, the ring should be put in hand. The 
Sampata Homa also should be done after this. The disciple who is to wear the 
ring should be bathed with the water of the nine pots above referred to when 
placed on the lotus of the Matrika. When thus qualified, he is to wear the same 
on the index finger. It may be made of nine jewels which are sacred to the nine 


planets which represent the nine classes into which the Sanskrit alphabet is 

33rd Chapter 

This chapter deals with the invocation of the presence of Devi. It is said to be 
possible in three ways in the diagram, in the image and in the disciple. The 
disciple should make an image either of a jewel or of gold or of silver and have 
Devi invoked in it. The image should be taken out every month and worship 
conducted through it with the 64 articles of the same. The diagram should be 
washed with the five products of a cow placed in an altar on a conch. After this 
he should do either items of worship and having washed the same diagram with 
different juices and waters and put the same on a golden seat. Then Devi is to be 
invoked and the diagram retouched and electrified with the mantra aa.m hrii.m 
etc. Then is the worship to be done with the necessary articles. Recitation of the 
hymns completes the worship. 

34th Chapter 

In this the reader finds the details given about the worship of Devi as done by 
the follower of Kulachara. Among many other things, he has to observe that he 
does not keep fasts, does not see a naked lady or one with visible breasts, that he 
avoids anything painful to women, that he eats modestly so as to keep healthy, 
that when sacrificing an animal he gets it beheaded by someone else while 
reciting the mantra udbudyasva etc. He is further directed not to be too much 
given to hunting, nor to indulge in the gambling but to strictly watch the conduct 
of women at home. He alone is to make use of the liquor who is not adversely 
affected by it but who on the other hand is uniform in treatment to all beings, is 
equally affected by honour or dishonour, by friend or foe, by stone or gold and 
who speaks smilingly and with steady eyes. The best sign of success in worship 
is afforded by detachment, thirst for release, renunciation, control over 
everything, the practising of the eight-limbed Yoga, avoidance of enjoyment, 
mercy towards all beings, acquisition of omniscience etc. 

35th Chapter 

The worship of Devi through the medium of a lady forms the subject-matter of 
this chapter. This is strictly to be done in privacy and at night. In laying stress on 
the use of the necessary material for this sort of worship instances are quoted of 
Vishnu, Indra, Pushpadanta, Dattatreya and Balarama. Various powers are said 
to be obtainable from this worship. But the worshipper is to do every function 
with the help of his wife. 


36th Chapter 

In this chapter the follower of Kulachara is instructed to have his wife initiated 
like himself by his own teacher who is to treat her as his own daughter. The 
Kula worship is to be celebrated on the 8th and 14th day of each half of the 
month through a diagram drawn on an earthen pot with red lead. The diagram is 
to consist of a hexagon inside a lotus. The image of Devi is to be drawn with the 
same material in the middle of the hexagon. The name of the person to be 
hypnotized is to occupy the cheeks of the image. The mantra of Devi ai.m klii.m 
sauH comes before and after. The Kamabija, i.e. klii.m, should be prominent in 
the other parts of the image. The muttering of the Vasantasundari mantra klii.m 
hrii.m ai.m niilasubhage hili hili vicche svaahaa comes after this. Then he has to 
electrify the image with the spiritual power and after having done the same 
perform the actual worship. The spiritual counterpart of the above is also 
detailed in this. The practitioner has to place himself in an even seat in a pure 
solitary place with the nervous system fully purified. He has to purify the latter 
with the Pranayamic exercises and be in the Sundari-mudra in which eyes are 
fixed on the nose-tip or the inner soul, or the middle of the eyebrows and the 
teeth, lips and tongue are to be closed with the serpent force drawn up from the 
Muladhara. He has to melt the nectar in the thousand-petalled lotus in the head 
and with the nectar shower so obtained he is to worship Devi in the heart-lotus. 
Invocation of Devi is to be done through inhalation and retention of the breath. 
The same nectar is to be offered for the washing of the feet, Arghya and sipping. 
Thirtysix component principles of the world are to serve the purpose of perfume. 
The flowers to be offered are non-violence, abstention from theft, 
commiseration, forgetfulness, sense-control, presence of mind, absence of envy, 
hatred and attachment, and truthfulness. Air serves the purpose of incense, light 
of lamp, Sun of mirrer, Moon of umbrella, happiness of ornaments, sky of 
chamara and heart-throbbing of bell. The nectar above referred to is the drink 
but not the liquor. By the Sundari or the matchless beauty is meant the subtle 
flame which occupies the central place of the Nada which ultimately is the 
essence of the fire, the air, the sky, the water and the earth. The practitioner of 
the worship has to merge the products of the five different elements in the 
elements themselves, lights in the light and the mind in the Brahman. In the pit 
of Kundalini he is to enkindle the spiritual fire and make into it the offering of 
all desires, whether definite or indefinite, merit and demerit, with the incantation 
given in the book at pages 320-321. 

37th Chapter 

This chapter relates how the things which have heen rejected by the followers of 
the Vedas can be used by a Tantrik worshipper in a particular manner so as to 


gain success in worship. It is said that there is absolutely nothing pure and 
nothing impure. It is the way of using it that causes its purity or impurity. What 
is really needed is the fixing of mind on the Brahman. It is variously described 
as Prakriti by Samkhyas, as Avidya by the Vedantins, as Mahavidya by Shaivas 
and as Mahamaya by Tantriks. Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshvara adore 
Mahamaya. Brahma by worshipping her obtained Savitri representative of the 
will-power as his consort and Vishnu Lakshmi representing the cognitive power. 
She is said to have two forms gross and subtle. The gross form is visible in 
females and the subtle in the Kundalini. It is therefore, commanded that the 
females should not be subjected to any cold treatment such as beating etc. 
Worship of the subtle form is conducted through the Kundalini Yoga. 

38th Chapter 

In this Shiva says that the Devi feels satisfied not so much with the mental 
worship as with the physical. In accounting for the same it is said how she was 
once praised by Brahma and how she being pleased conferred on the Trinity, 
Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, their respective powers — creation, sustenance and 
destruction and how she was born first as Sati and then as Parvati and how she 
advised Shiva to marry her as a Vira and how he praised her expressing that all 
his eight forms were really her own manifestations and at the end how she 
appeared before Shiva in the form of the Universe. 

The reader is here to see for himself how much the Tantra has borrowed from 
the Durga-saptashati and the Bhagvadgita. 

39th Chapter 

This chapter sets forth that spirit and matter are the two eternal principles. The 
former is represented by the male sex and the latter by the female. The latter, 
therefore, is endowed with the Gunas (qualities). From this view-point the 
question of purity and impurity attaching to the things of the world is said to be 
conventional for taking it for granted that the world consists of the five 
elements, we have to see how the same earth can be considered to give rise to 
the cast distinction such as, Brahmin etc, or to the distinction either as divine or 
as human etc. He is held to be a Brahmin who feels really that the soul is 
different from the body and is one with the Brahman as Supreme Bliss. 

The Vedantic description of the Brahman and of the bodies of the soul, gross, 
subtle and causal is put in the mouth of the Devi. 


40th Chapter 

In this Shiva and Parvati change positions. Shiva becomes the questioner and 
Parvati the replier. The latter states how the world consists of the two elements 
Shiva and Shakti and how their simultaneous existence is essential and how she 
is to be worshipped through incantation, image etc. When physical worship is to 
be conducted the Linga is advised to be worshipped alongside. The way of 
worship associated with the Kulachara is fully detailed towards the end. 

41st Chapter 

In the above explanation of the Anuttara or the Transcendental Self comes first. 
It is defined as the unification between Sat and Chit, Prakasha and Vimarsha, 
Shiva and Shakti (being and knowing). The Bija of the Devi given here points to 
the same thing so far as its connotation is concerned. All the incantations are 
said to lead when practised to the same stage in the long run, though at first they 
may be helpful to the practitioner 's approach to Shiva or the Devi. The 
practitioner has to bear in mind that the objective world is in nature one with the 
subjective. The Transcendental Self manifests itself trebly, first as Bindu, then 
as Nada and lastly as Bija. The Shaivistic doctrine regarding the cosmic 
evolution and that of the Sanskrit alphabet is described in elucidation of the 
Anuttara much in the same way as Abhinava Gupta and Kshemaraja have done. 

The verse frequently quoted by the writers on Shaivism comes at the end and 
means an individual soul out on gaining oneness with the supreme reality as 
supreme bliss energises to merge the objectivity in the subjectivity. 

42nd Chapter 

This closes the book and deals with the description of the physiological and 
spiritual phenomena as known to the experts in the Tantrika lore. It is given in 
the form of question and replies. Devi asks the following questions: 

1. Whence does the speech originate and wherein does it disappear? 2. Who 
feels appetite and thirst and who sleeps and wakes up? 3. Who sins and is bound 
and who emancipated? 4. How is the etheric side of the soul to be accounted for 
in the body? 5. How does the soul assume the physical body? 6. Who is the 
soul? 7. How does the soul see? 8. How does it become Sakala (bound) and how 
Nishkala (released)? 9. How does it get sustenance and what accounts for its 
physical appearance and • disappearance? 

Shiva replies: 


1. Speech comes from and merges in the mind through the instrumentality of 
Avyakkta and the vital breath. 2. Vital breath feels desire for food and drink and 
bodily fire enjoys them. Wind (Vital breath) causes sleep and waking. 3. Mind is 
responsible for sins and bondage. When the soul being under control ceases to 
function, it becames free. 4. The soul has three sides, aerial, astral and etheric as 
breathing, digesting and speaking. 5. The soul appears in the physical form 
under the influence of matter as Sattva, Rajas and Tamas and it is centered in the 
tip of the nose and heart. It lives as embodied so long as the heart and the head 
continue to function. 6. The supreme reality is the soul. 7. It sees through the 
body. 8. It becomes Sakala when It comes under the influence of Prakriti and 
Nishkala when it realizes its unity with the Trancendental Self. 9. It gets 
sustenance through its actions and appears and disappears through the presence 
or otherwise of limitations caused by action. It rises and falls like a ball in the 
scale of life. 

In explaining the above replies Shiva makes a reference to the doctrine of the 
Upanishads as revealed to Sanatkumara the son of Vishnu. 

The last lines of the chapter like those of the Upanishads. describe the merit of 
reciting the Tantra. 


Jnanarnava Tantra 

By images, ceremonies, mind, identification, and knowing the self, a mortal 
attains liberation - Shaktirahasya 

This work falls into the Shri Vidya class of tantras and is a relatively brief and 
comparatively straightforward example of the genre. Jnanarnava means Ocean 
of Knowledge. 

Consisting of 26 patalas (chapter), the Jnanarnava amplifies information 
relating to the Shri Vidya tradition in other works of the school. No date can be 
assigned to it. It does have some interesting information on inner worship, rather 
than the external rituals (bahiryaga). 

Chapter One 

Cast in the familiar agamic form as a discourse between Devi and Ishvara, the 
goddess starts the tantra by asking of the true nature of Shri Vidya. Ishvara 
opens by saying that the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet from A to Ksha, endued 
with the 14 vowels and the three bodies, constitute the body of Matrika Devi, 
which is one with the circle of time (Kalamandala). This is the absolute as sound 
(Shabdabrahma). It is the true form of the Atma and is Hamsa. 

Ishvara then dilates on the three bindus. Hamsa indicates the three gunas; the 
three Shaktis Iccha, Jnana and Kriya; the three tattvas; the three cities; the true 
nature of Bhur-Bhuvah-Svah and the states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. 
The waking state is sattvik, and is the true form of Shakti, while the deep sleep 
state is tamasik and is the Shiva form. The dream state is rajasik, says Ishvara. 
The Turiya (the fourth) pervades all these states and is the supreme Kala, the 
Jnanachitkala, a state of true consciousness. This is Tripura and the true rosary 
of the letters (akshamala). 

Chapter Two 

Devi wants to know about the different mantras and forms of Tripura. Ishvara 
says that Tripura has three forms of which the first is Bala . He outlines a three 
syllable mantra which is Aim Klim Sauh. She is the mother of great good 
fortune, the giver of great eloquence, the great destroyer of death and consists of 
all the worlds. The rest of this chapter is mainly given over to details of external 
puja (worship), including tantrik gayatri and the other usual details including 
nyasa and the like. 


Chapter Three 

Ishvara starts to talk about internal worship (antaryaga). Before beginning 
external worship, the devotee should visualise the root mantra as pervading the 
body from the Muladhara to the top of the head, and visualise it as effulgent as 
kotis of fires, suns and moons. Then, facing east, the devotee should inscribe the 
yantra. The text gives detailed instructions on how to draw the figure, including 
the mantras and bijas which should be drawn on it. 

The yantra may be inscribed on gold, silver, copper or on the ground, and should 
be scented with perfumes including sandalwood, as well as coloured with 
kumkum, vermilion and camphor. It may also be inscribed on bhurja (a type of 
birch bark). Then follows a detailed dhyana (meditation image). She is adorned 
with many strings of pearls, a bright diadem. In her two left hands she holds a 
book and a bow, and with her two right hands she banishes fear and bestows 
boons to the sadhaka. She is pure white as milk or snow and has a sweetly 
smiling face. 

Chapter Four 

Here, Devi asks Ishvara about how to perform puja in the chakra or mandala 
described earlier. Shiva describes twelve pitha shaktis whose names are Varna, 
Jyeshtha, Raudri, Ambika, Iccha, Jnana, Kriya, Kubjika, Riddhi, Vishaghnika, 
Dutari and Ananda. They are adorned with strings of pearls and rubies, resemble 
the moon, are as white as the Ganges river in flood, and have two arms. The 
twelve shaktis are to be worshipped from the east (of the goddess) and are 
adorned with the nine jewels. 

There follows a description of the five corpses, the five lion seats. Ishvara says 
that these are the bodies of Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Ishvara and Sadashiva. 
Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra represent the three gunas and the states of creation, 
maintenance and destruction. There then follows a detailed description of 
different mudras and other ritualistic details in the puja, as well as a description 
of the other deities who receive offering in the yantra. 

Chapter Five 

The subject of puja is continued here. There is a very lengthy meditation image 
of the goddess, followed by passages about the worship and the mantras of the 
yoginis, Batuka, and the other bali devatas, as outlined in Gandharva Tantra. 
The five great corpses form the base of the Hamsa mattress. See elsewhere on 
this site, in the section on the paradise island, to understand the next few 


Chapters Six to Nine 

Chapter six deals with the eastern lion seat, and describes the different Devis 
and shaktis who dwell in the direction. The mantra of Tripura Bhairavi is given. 
The Tripura Bhairava vidya is said to be hard to obtain in the three worlds. 

Sampatprada Bhairavi is the great giver of prosperity. She is as bright as a 
thousand suns, with a crest gem like the rising moon, wearing numberless gems 
and pearls. Her face is like the full moon, and she has three eyes, with large 
swelling breasts, wearing red clothes, and has a youthful, intoxicated form. She 
holds a book and dispels fear with her left hands, while with her right she holds 
a rosary of rudrakshas and shows the mudra giving boons. There then follows a 
description of Chaitanya Bhairavi. The next chapters describe the southern, the 
western and the northern directions. Although the dhyanas differ from those 
given in the Paradise Island section, the different devis have similar forms. Here 
their yantras and vidyas are also outlined. 

Chapter Ten 

This is a lengthy chapter which covers a number of mantras necessary to the 
worship of the Devi. These include the hand-purifying mantra (karashuddhi), the 
asana or seat mantras, and the other vidya mantras used in her worship. 

Chapter Eleven 

A very brief chapter of only 14 verses which describes the Panchadashi (fifteen 
letter) Kadi vidya, all in code form. 

Chapter Twelve 

Describes the other divisions in Shri Vidya, starting with the Lopamudra mantra. 

Chapter Thirteen 

Deals with the Sodashi Devi, whose mantra has sixteen letters. It describes the 
different sections of the mantra and says that the sixteenth letter should never be 
revealed to anyone. Unless it is obtained from a guru, its use bestows a curse. It 
is made up of four parts which correspond to the states of waking, dreaming, 
deep sleep and the fourth state. The fourth state, Turiya, is the supreme kala, 
above being and non-being, above the gunas and pure. 

Chapter Fourteen 

Describes the placing of the golden vessel or jar, and details the ten kalas of 
Fire, the twelve kalas of Sun, and in the moon mandala, the sixteen kalas, 
together with the mantras used in this worship. Reference can be made here to 
the Gandharva Tantra introduction, which you can find on this site. 


This patala speaks then of the special offering, and of the yantra for this 
offering, which is made up of a triangle, a circle, six angles, and an earthsquare 
or bhupura. The sun is to be worshipped in this yantra. 

The different six limbs of nyasa are also worshipped in this yantra, and a 
sadhaka should perform bhutashuddhi, or purification of the elements in the 
human body. 

Different more complex nyasas should be performed, including the Mahashoda 
Nyasa, which is elsewhere on this site, and detailed in the Yoginihridaya. The 
different meditation images to be used are outlined. The puja includes the 
visualisation and placing of the 50 (51) letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. 

This is a very lengthy chapter, much of which repeats information about puja 
which is rather neatly summarised in the Subhagyodaya. 

Chapter Fifteen 

Ishvara starts by saying to the Devi that he will declare the utmost Nitya 
mandala, and starts by speaking of Kameshvari, the mahavidya who subdues all 
of the worlds. Her mantra is then given in code form. 

The vidyas of the other fourteen Nitya devis are then related. Mudras and nyasas 
related to Lalita are outlined. Inner worship (antaryaga) is recommended over 
external puja. 

Chapter Sixteen 

The text then proceeds with a question from Shri Devi about inner yaga and 
outer yaga (worship). Devi, replies Shiva, exists between the muladhara and 
brahmarandhra chakras. 

There then follows a beautiful and lengthy dhyana (meditation image) of the 
queen of queens, who has a face like the full moon, a mouth like a lotus, and 
who consists of all mantra, all agamas, all places, all vidyas, all worship and 
puja, all shastras or holy texts, all amnayas, and who is pure bliss and 
consciousness herself, the supreme Mother. She should be invoked in the centre 
of the chakra using mudras, and all the mudras should be shown to her. She is 
surrounded by her fifteen Nitya attendants, and by the nine gurus, all of whose 
names end in Anandanath, as well as by masses of enlightened gurus. She is the 
Navachakreshvari, or Lady of the Nine Chakras. Then follows a very lengthy 
description of her other attendants in the Shri Yantra, much of which material is 
outlined elsewhere on this site, as well as her nine forms in the nine mandalas of 
the Shri Yantra. 


Chapter Seventeen 

Shiva is asked about the sixteen letter vidya, about the rules of reciting the 
mantra, as well as some instructions for the substance the Shri Yantra may be 
drawn on, which include bhurja bark, gold, silver, copper and the like. This 
chapter also has some prayogas (applications) for subjugation and the like, and 
the flowers and other substances used to obtain the desired results. 

Chapter Eighteen 

This short chapter deals with a rite known as the ratna or jewel puja, which is 
also described in the Gandharva Tantra. Performing this rite for a period of one 
month removes the blemishes accrued from seven incarnations, the text claims. 

Chapter Nineteen 

Shakti asks the lord to explain the nature of the three bijas, the essence of 

There follows a dhyana of Kamakala, which, the text says, deludes the entire 
world, and delivers every other type of benefit, including destroying death, and 
so forth. 

Chapter Twenty 

Deals with the rules of japa and homa, and describes successive homas which 
involve the recitation of mantra many hundreds of thousands of time. 

This chapter is reminiscent of a similar chapter in Vamakeshvarimatam. The 
successive recitations and the more intensive homas eventually cause every 
denizen of the three worlds to become attracted to the sadhaka. 

It also describes the construction of the kundas (fire pits) to be used in these 
homas, together with other diagrams employed in the homas, along with the 
substances such as camphor and kumkuma which should be used in the worship. 

Chapter Twenty One 

Speaks of inner (antar) homa, which is figuratively described as using a four 
square kunda. 

In this inner homa, the 21,600 breaths of inhalation and exhalation feed the fire 
of consciousness. These breaths make up the embodied being, or jiva, which, 
however, is one with the atman. 

By sacrificing everything in the microcosm, which is one with the macrocosm, 
into the central sushumna fire, knowledge (Jnana) is obtained. 


Chapter Twenty Two 

Feeding and worship of the kumaris or virgins is the topic of this chapter. 

The kumaris should be treated with great reverence and fed good food, adorned 
with jewels and fine clothes and the like. 

Following the rules relating to the kumaris, the chapter then goes on to describe 
the Duti, or shakti of a sadhaka. This section of the chapter contains reference to 
the virasadhana. 

Chapter Twenty Three 

Continues the topic of Dutis (messengers) by speaking of the Inner Duti. She is 
Iccha, Jnana and Kriya Shakti, the self of Shiva and Shakti, the parabrahma, or 
supreme absolute, in which everything is dissolved. 

She is the form of the sixteen vowels of the alphabet, the form of the absolute, 
and the sixteen kalas. Whosoever knows her through the grace of the guru, 
becomes one with her. 

A fine verse towards the end of this chapter says that there is no difference 
between the four varnas (so-called castes) and the chandala. The Duti, or inner 
goddess, is free from such distinctions. In her, all such distinctions do not exist. 

Chapter Twenty Four 

Ishvara starts to speak about the rules for initiation (diksha), without which 
worship of the Devi is fruitless. Would-be candidates who do not have the right 
attitude are not suitable for initiation. 

He then speaks of a pavilion to perform the initiation, and of diagrams to be 
created and of the devis who rule over the initiation, as well as the regulation of 
breath (pranayama) and other particulars of the time of initiation. 

The chapter contains an unusual description of the chakras and of initiation in 
these chakras, as well as giving the right times to bestow initiation upon a 
candidate, which refer to particular times according to the rules of sidereal 
astrology when initiation will be successful. 

Chapter Twenty Five 

A very brief chapter which contains the rules for making a pavitra. This sacred 
thread must be scented with rochana, kumkuma and the like, and fashioned in 
particular way with 118 threads intertwined together. 


Chapter Twenty Six 

The last chapter in the tantra speaks of the damana rite, which must be preceded 
by elaborate precautions to protect the sadhaka performing it. 

Shri Kurukulla Devi 

Thou art the Adya P aroma Shakti. Thou art all power. It is by thy power that we, 
the trinity, are powerful in the acts of creation, preservation and destruction. 
Endless and of varied colour and form are thy appearances, and various are the 
strenuous efforts whereby the worshippers may realise them 
Mahanirvanatantra V, 2 (Woodroffe edition) 

Devi Kurukulla is, like Varahi, a balidevata, that is a receiver of offerings. She is 
one with Lalita and is identified, at least in the Tantrarajatantra, with Tara. She 
is one with the 15 Nitya devis of the waxing moon. 

She has three mantras, one of seven syllables, one of 13 and one of 25 syllables 
but in her daily puja the mantra of Tara is employed (Om tare tuttare ture svaha). 

According to the vast mediaeval tantrik digest Shrividyarnava, these mantras are 
Om kurukulle svaha (7), kurukullayah om kurukulle hrih svaha (13); 
kurukullayah om kurukullehrih: mama sarvjanam vashamanaya hrim svaha. 
Because she has three mantras she is called Trikhanda (three sections). 

Her meditation image is as a naked woman, with dishevelled hair, red and full of 
bliss. Her four hands bear arrow, bow, noose and quiver. Around her is a 
multitude of Shaktis who look just like her and all have taken their first bath 
after menstruation, have flowering yonis and eyes intoxicated with desire. 

The preparatory act (purashcharana) for worshipping Kurukulla is to recite her 
vidya-mantra 100,000 times, using red flowers. 

Her yantra (top left) is inscribed with the 25 syllable mantra- vidya for success. 

According to the tradition, yantras which do not have bija mantras inscribed on 
them, are powerless. 


Lalita Tripurasundari, the Red Goddess 

Dear One, Tripura is the ultimate, primordial Shakti, the light of manifestation. 
She, the pile of letters of the alphabet, gave birth to the three worlds. At 
dissolution, She is the abode of all tattvas, still remaining Herself - 

What is Shri Vidya and what relationship does it have to the goddess Lalita and 
to her yantra, the Shri Yantra? Vidya means knowledge, specifically female 
knowledge, or the goddess, and in this context relates to her aspect called Shri, 
Lalita or Tripurasundari whose magical diagram is called the Shri Yantra. She is 
a red flower, so her diagram is a flower too. 

The tantrik tradition views its symbols as having a gross aspect, a subtle aspect, 
and a supreme aspect. In terms of Lalita, the gross form is the image of the 
goddess with her four arms and so forth, the subtle form is as yantra, and the 
supreme form is her mantra, all three being the goddess in different aspects. 
Behind the sometimes colourful symbolism is deep wisdom coupled with 
practical methods for realising oneself. 

Lalita loves puja. This term is usually translated as worship. However, this is 
misleading, as it introduces a duality into a process intended to bring the 
practitioner (sadhaka or sadhvika) to a non-dual position. There can be various 
pujas including daily rites, those performed at the four twilights, rites done for 
specific objects, optional rites done on festival days, or on otherwise auspicious 
days such as lunar eclipses or the entrance of the sun into a sidereal 
constellation, rites in assemblies or groups, and rites accomplished with a 
partner. Subhagodaya, on this site, is a translation which gives the full puja of 
Tripurasundari or Lalita. 

Lalita means She Who Plays. All creation, manifestation and dissolution is 
considered to be a play of Devi or the goddess. Mahatripurasundari is her name 
as transcendent beauty of the three cities, a description of the goddess as 
conqueror of the three cities of the demons, or as the triple city (Tripura), but 
really a metaphor for a human being. 

What then is a yantra? The word is usually translated as a machine, but in the 
special sense of the tantrik tradition refers to the Devi in her linear or 
geometrical form. Yantras, by the way, are always used flat. They may be two- 
dimensional or three-dimensional. Every aspect of Devi has her own mantra and 
yantra. The yantra of Devi Lalita is Shri Yantra. The divinity of the yantra 
always occupies the centre or apex. 


The different parts or petals and lines of the yantra are usually arranged in 
concentric circles (mandalas) and contain rays or sub-limbs of devi. The Shri 
Yantra has nine of these mandals, each filled with various aspects of the Devi. In 
Shri Yantra there are 111 aspects. The Shri Yantra is said to be a geometric form 
of the human body, which implies that goddess as Macrocosm is one with 
human being as Microcosm. 

Formation of the Shri Yantra 

The creation of the Shri Yantra is described in the Yogini Hridaya {Heart of the 
Yogini Tantra), which still does not exist in an English translation, as far as we 
are aware. This is said to be the second part of the Vamakeshvara Tantra. 

"From the fivefold Shakti comes creation and from the fourfold Fire dissolution. 
The sexual union of five Shaktis and four Fires causes the chakra to evolve. O 
Sinless One! I speak to you of the origin of the chakra. 

"When she, the ultimate Shakti, of her own will (svecchaya) assumed the form 
of the universe, then the creation of the chakra revealed itself as a pulsating 
essence. From the void-like vowels with the visarga (:) emerged the bindu, 
quivering and fully conscious. From this pulsating stream of supreme light 
emanated the ocean of the cosmos, the very self of the three mothers. 

"The baindava of the chakra has a triple form, dharma, adharma and atma, and 
matri, meya and prama. The chakra of nine yonis is the great mass of 
consciousness bliss and is the ninefold chakra and the nine divisions of the 

"The baindava is placed on a dense flowery mass and is the Chitkala. Similarly, 
the ambika form of eight lines is the circle of the vowels. The nine triangles 
quiver forth the effulgent form of 10 lines. The Shakti, together with her 
surrounding nine blossomed forth the 10 trikonas. The second quivering form of 
10 lines has Krodhisha as first of the 10. These four chakras, of the nature of 
light, create the 14-fold form, the essence of perception." 

— Yogini Hridaya, 1 6-16. 

At the very heart of the bindu or centre of the Shri Yantra is that which caused it 
to emanate. This is Kamakala, consisting of the three bindus or potentials. One 
is red, one is white, and one is mixed. The red bindu is ova, the white bindu 
semen, and the mixed bindu the union of Shiva-Shakti, the individual as 
potential Shri Cakra. 


Father and Mother are represented in Shri Vidya by two limbs or aspects of 
Lalita known as Varahi and Kurukulla. The semen of Varahi, the father-form, 
gives four alchemical dhatus to the child. The ova of Kurukulla, the mother- 
form, gives five dhatns to the child. Consciousness enters via orgasm. The three 
bindus, collectively known as Kamakala (digit of sexual desire), are the root 
potential of sun, moon and fire. It is like sun and moon coming together in an 
eclipse, or the seed from which the plant human being grows. 

Varahi's four alchemical dhatus are known as the four fires. Kurukulla's 
alchemical dhatus are known as the five saktis. The combination of these five 
saktis (downward pointing triangles) and four fires (upward pointing triangles), 
forms the complex figure in the centre of Shri Cakra. 

Varahi's four fires are the 12 (3 x 4) sun Kalas, 12 sidereal constellations. 
Kurukulla's five triangles are the 15 (5 x 3) Kalas of the moon, 15 lunar days. 
The complete individual grows within nine months to be born as a Shri Yantra 
or plant. The flowering of this plant is shown by the 24 petals of the yantra. The 
above all gives rise to the familiar shape of the Shri Yantra. The yantra is 
usually arranged in one of two forms. In the Bhuprastara, it is two dimensional 
and laid flat, usually facing the east, but sometimes the north, depending on the 
practice. The Meruprastara has the yantra in a pyramidal form. Unless the yantra 
be decorated with the appropriate bija and other mantras, it is worthless. It is 
also dead unless it is installed with life and the individual doing the puja is 
initiated into one of the lines (parampara). 

The Nine Mandalas of the Shri Yantra 
The Earth Square or Bhupura 

This mandala represents the enclosing walls or 
fence of the zonule of a practitioner. The three 
lines of the bhupura of Shri Yantra each has a set 
of subsidiary aspects or sub-limbs of the goddess. 
On the outer line are the eight world protectors 
(lokapalas), the guardian spirits of the directions 
and intermediate directions. 

On the middle line are eight Siddhi Saktis 
identified with the senses. On the inner line are 
eight Shaktis ruling Desire, Anger, Envy, 
Delusion, Greed, Jealousy, Virtue and Vice. They 
are the eight Matrikas. These saktis are collectively known as the Obvious Ones 


(Prakata Yoginis). A form of the triple Devi known as Tripura rules all these 
shaktis in this individual mandala of the yantra known as 'The Chakra Ruling the 
Three Worlds'. She has four arms, is the colour of crystal, is adorned with pearls 
and holds a book, a pot, and a beautiful lotus, her Vidya is Am Am Sauh. 

Outer line: Indra (E) wears yellow, rides an elephant; Agni (SE) wears red, 
rides a ram; Yam (S) wears black, carries a staff; Nirriti (SW) wears dark green; 
Varuna (W) wears blue, and his vehicle is a makar; Vayu (NE) wears pale 
clothes; Soma (N) wears pure white; Ishana (NE) is a form of Mahadeva Shiva. 

Middle Line: The Siddhi Shaktis are smeared with vermilion, wear red 
garlands, carry noose and goad, and are as bright and beautiful as red lotuses. 

Inner Line: Brahmi wears yellow, has four arms, is beautiful. One hand dispels 
fear, one grants boons, the others hold a jewelled jar and makes the gesture of 
purification. Mahesvari wears white, has three eyes, holds trident, skull, axe, and 
vessel containing sour curds. Kaumari wears yellow, holds shakti-dart, Javelin, 
and makes the gestures of dispelling fear and granting boons. Varahi is dark in 
colour, holds conch, discus, dispels fear, grants boons. She wears many 
ornaments and gems. She has the head of a pig, holding plough, mace, sword 
and shield. Indrani is black, carrying a bright blue lotus. Camunda is black, 
holds trident and damaru (hourglass drum), holds axe, and milk in a bowl. 
Mahalaksmi wears yellow, holds serpent, shield, bell and milk in a skull shaped 

The nature of this outermost mandala is fire of fire. The gem is topaz. The time 
is 24 minutes (360 breaths). The Mudra is the All Agitating. 


Sixteen Petals 

The saktis in this circle are known as the Hidden Ones. 

The whole mandala of sixteen petals is called 'Fulfiller of Desire'. The presiding 

form of the Lalita is Tripureshi. Her vidya is Aim 
Klim Sauh. She is described as ornamented with 
all gems, carrying a book and a rosary. The 16 
yoginis in this mandala are associated with the 
attainment of desires by the cultivation or 
strengthening of power over mind, ego, sound, 
touch, sight, taste, smell, intellect, steadiness, 
memory, name, growth, etheric body, 
revivification, and physical body. They are 
described as the Nitya Kalas. Each holds a noose, 
a goad, pot full of nectar, and makes the sign of 
giving. They are very red. 

The gem of the mandala is sapphire. The dhatu of physical alchemy is chyle, the 
first product of the disintegration of food by the biological fires. The time is 
three hours (2700 breaths). The Mudra is the Wettening Mudra. The nature of 
the mandala is sun of fire. 

Eight Petals 

The saktis in this mandala are called the Very 
Secret Yoginis. The whole circle of eight petals is 
called the 'All Exciting Cakra'. Presiding here is 
Tripura Sundari. Her vidya is Hrim Klim Sauh. 
She is described as swaying because of her love 
intoxicated state, with her eyes full of bliss. 

She smiles with passion. She shows the mudras 
dispelling fears and granting boons. 

The eight saktis in each of the eight petals of the 
mandala are described as saktis of Speech, 
Holding, Walking, Excreting, Pleasure, Abandoning, Concentration and 
Detachment. They are described as sapphire blue, holding noose, goad, 
dispelling fear, and holding blue lotus. Their names (Ananga Madana etc) all 
convey terms of loving sexuality. 


The gem is cat's eye. The dhatu is Flesh. The time is day and night (21600 
breaths). The mandala's nature is moon of fire. 

Fourteen Triangles 

This mandala is called 'The Cakra Bestowing All 
Good Fortune'. The Yoginis are called 'Concealed 
by Tradition'. The presiding form of the devi is 
Tripura Vasini. Her vidya is Haim Hklim Hsauh. 

She is very red and very beautiful. Fourteen 
shaktis of the triangles are associated with the 
chief nadis or currents of bioenergy. They are 
described as being proud, wanton, young, colour 
of cochineal, ornamented with gems, holding 
noose, goad, mirror, winecup full of nectar. They 
are the Akarshanis or Attractors. 

The gem is coral. The dhatu is blood. The time is weekday. The Mudra is called 
All Subjugating. The nature of the mandala is fire of sun. 

Outer 10 Triangles 

This mandala is called 'The Cakra Bestowing All 
Objects to the Sadhaka'. The saktis are called the 
Kula Kaulas. The presiding aspect of Red Devi is 
Tripura Shri. 

Here, the goddess is as effulgent as 1000 rising 
Suns, adorned with celestial ornaments, with large 
rising breasts, holding book and rosary, dispelling 
fears and granting boons. 

The 10 shaktis in the triangles are described as 
having thrilled faces, holding noose and goad and 
adorned with various crystal and heavenly gems. 

These are the Yoginis of the 10 vital breaths. The gem is pearl. The dhatu is 
Ova/Semen. The time is Lunar Day (tithi). 

The Mudra is called the All Intoxicating with Love. The nature is sun of sun. 


Inner Ten Triangles 

The mandala is called 'The Cakra Protecting All'. 
The Yoginis are called Without Origin. The 
presiding aspect of Lalita is Tripura Malini. Her 
vidya is Hrim Klim Blem. 

She holds noose and goad, dispels fear, and holds 
a skull. She is of vermilion brightness. 

Her shaktis are the colour of 1000 rising suns, 
adorned with pearls and gems, holding noose, 
chisel, and showing the gestures of knowledge, 
and giving boons. They are the saktis of the 10 
Vital Fires. The gem is emerald. The dhatu is Marrow. The time is Lunar 
Fortnight. The Mudra is the Great Goad. The nature is moon of sun. 

Eight Triangles 

This mandala is called 'The Cakra Destroying all 
Disease'. The yoginis are known as the Secret or 
Rahasya yoginis. The presiding aspect of the Red 
Goddess is Tripura Siddha. 

Her vidya mantra is Hrim Shrim Sauh. She is 
described as the Destroyer of Poison. 

Her yoginis are the colour of pomegranate 
flowers, wearing red clothes, smeared with red 
scent, each carrying five arrows and a bow. These 
saktis are the rulers of Cold, Heat, Happiness, 
Sorrow, Desire, and the three gunas Sattvas, Rajas, Tamas. They are also called 
the eight Vasinis and rule the eight Sanskrit letter groups. The gem in this 
mandala is diamond (Vajra). The time is month. The Mudra is Khecari Mudra. 
The nature of the mandala is said to be fire of moon. 

The Four Weapons 

In between the mandalas of eight triangles and the central triangles are the four 
weapons of the Red Goddess — flowery bow, flowery arrows, noose and goad. 


Central Triangle 

This mandala is called The Cakra Giving All 
Success'. The Yoginis are called Very Secret. 
Lalita dwells here as Tripura Amba, her Vidya 
being Hsraim Hsrklim Hsrsauh. 

She is also known as Sampatprada Bhairavi, 
coppery effulgent, like 1000 suns, with three eyes, 
a face like the moon, adorned with white gems, 
with a beautiful figure, rising swelling breasts, 
intoxicated, wanton, young, proud, holding book, 
dispelling fear, holding a rosary and granting 

Her three saktis are called Lady of Lust (Kameshvari), Adamantine Lady 
(Vajreshi), and Flowery Vagina (Bhagamalini). Kameshvari is called the Rudra 
Shakti. She is white in colour, besmeared with camphor, adorned with pearls 
and crystal, and various other gems, holding book, rosary, bestowing boons and 
dispelling fear. 

Vajreshi is the Vishnu Shakti. She is bright as red powder (kumkuma), adorned 
with flowers and gems, like the dawn sun. Her eyelids are smeared with 
sapphire dust, she holds sugarcane how, flowery arrows, bestows boons, dispels 

Bhagamalini is the Brahma Shakti. She is effulgent as molten gold, adorned with 
priceless gems, holds noose, goad, and shows the gestures of knowledge and 
bestowing boons. 

The gem of the mandala is Gomaya. The dhatu is Fat. The time is season (two 
months). The Mudra is the Bija Mudra. The nature of the mandala is sun of 



This mandala is called 'Purely Blissful'. The 
Yogini in this mandala is the Queen of Queens, 
Rajarajeshvari, the Very Red One, her 
Transcendent Majesty Lalita Maheshvari 
Mahatripurasundari . 

Her vidya (Kamaraja vidya) is ka e i la hrim ha sa 
ka ha la hrim sa ka la hrim, plus a secret 16th 
syllable. Her description is that given in 
Vamakeshvara Tantra. 

Surrounding her are the Fifteen Nityas. The gem is ruby. The dhatu is hair. The 
time is year. The mudra is Yoni Mudra. The nature of this central mandala is 
moon of moon. 

Yantra Mantra Tantra of Lalita 

Lalita, as primordial devi, rays out her attendants and shaktis as modifications of 
moon, sun and fire. In this Shiva has no place, no qualities, is without the ability 
to act. Only when united with devi may 'he' act. 

This is based on the subtle and practical idea of Shiva as pure consciousness, 
witness of the triple manifestation of his Shakti. This Shakti, the very essence of 
the three gunas of Sattvas, Rajas, and Tamas, is the cause of all manifestation in 
the universe and as a human being. The three shaktis, by blending and 
reblending, create all things. 

Shakti is triple as sun, moon and fire — that is to say of all the sidereal 
constellations and planets, and therefore of Time itself. She is triple as Will 
(Iccha), Knowledge (Jnana) and Action (Kriya). She is threefold as intellect, 
feelings, physical sensation. 

Shakti is triple as wake-dream-deep sleep. What is called the Fourth is the 
witness, Shiva, who is said to pervade the whole cosmos just as heat pervades a 
red hot iron. 

The physical body, according to the precepts of Ayurveda, is triple as the 
'humours' Vata, Pitta and Sleshma. The varying combinations of these three 
shaktis make up the physical body. 


Shakti is also fivefold as aether, air, fire, water and earth. The combination of 
the five elements and three gunas produce Lalita's Eternities (Nityas) — 15 in 
number, each identified with a lunar day of the bright fortnight. The moon, 
symbolising Shakti, is the mirror or reflection holding together all creation. 

A close examination of the details relating to the nine mandalas of Shri Yantra 
reveals that the shaktis of the whole circle represent the human being, who, in 
potential, is Shakti-Shiva united. The aim is for a person to realise that all 
powers, energies and manifestation are shaktis of consciousness, pure 

The yantra may be examined in two ways, either as manifestation or dissolution. 
Maintenance is an intermediate state between the two polarities. When she is 
worshipped as creatrix the order is from centre to perimeter. As dissolver, the 
puja is from perimeter to centre. 

In Sivananda Yogi's Subhagodaya is given the daily ritual or puja of Lalita's 
Shri Yantra — based on the Vamakeshvara Tantra. This rite is based on non- 
dualism, in a spiritual sense the realisation of the intrinsic oneness of 
macrocosm and microcosm. 

As the puja is intended to banish all thoughts of difference, the devi is first felt 
or visualised in the heart, and then drawn out via the breath and installed in the 
yantra. She is then worshipped as actually residing there. But a clear link has 
been made between subject and object. The true home of devi is as cosmo- 
creatrix in the heart of the body which is the devi in human form. 

The Various Mandalas of Shri Yantra 

The Triple Goddess, from her own will to manifest, extends herself in a ninefold 
way, as modifications of moon, sun and fire. The attributions of the various 
mandalas shows the type of energy represented. The meditation in Bhavana 
Upanshad is a figurative way of describing this celestial city or mountain which 
is a human being. 

The island of jewels is the gross human body with its 9 alchemical bases or 
dhatus. Each is figuratively described as a gem — diamond, emerald, sapphire, 
ruby etc. The sea of nectar (semen/ova) is the base for the arising of the human 
body. The diagram suns up the meditation. We can see that this island of gems is 
a very pleasant place to he, full of gardens, with a beautiful, begemmed palace, 
wafted with a gentle breeze upon which is carried great fragrance, cool, alluring. 


This indicates the Kaula view that one gains liberation by a very pleasant way, 
enjoying as one goes. This paradise island is very, very close. Each of the 
elements in the island meditation has a subtle meaning associated with the 
esoteric physiology of Shri Vidya. 

She, Lalita, united with Shiva, is subtlety of subtlety, hidden behind the curtain 
hanging from the canopy. Her forms may appear to become progressively less 
subtle, but she still remains herself. 


Although Tripurasundari, as mother of the universe (jagadamba) is the aspect 
most often met with in works of Shri Vidya, she is also worshipped as Bala (a 
young girl), and as Bhairavi (a crone). 

As Bala, she is 16 years old, a virgin, very playful and dear. Bala has her own 
yantra and mantra, her vidya is Aim Klim Sauh. 

Bhairavi is also an aspect of Lalita, but represents Shakti in whom menstruation 
has ceased, and has some affiliations with Kali. 

Applications of Shri Vidya 

There are many prayogas (ritual uses) related to Shri Yantra. Some rites depend 
on auspicious times, such as Full moon days or nights in specific solar months 

Devi also manifests as the five elements of aether, fire, air, water and earth. The 
saktis are purple (air), white (water), red (fire), yellow (earth), blue (aether). 

Chapter II of Vamakeshvara gives a large number of rites, which one is not 
entitled to perform unless the daily rite is also accomplished. These rites are 
called the shatkarma, six acts: protection, peace, victory, wealth, punishment, 
destruction. The categories vary occasionally. When punishing an enemy it is 
necessary to both protect yourself and to know the right time for performance, 
according to the rules, and also the vulnerable points, which vary with the phase 
of the moon and with astrological aspects. 

It is important to remember that Shri Vidya was primarily oral, and vital 
information was often left out of the written versions, so it is necessary to know 
a host of things before a rite can be started. 



Devi Lalita may be installed in a disciple, a yantra, or an image. All the methods 
essentially follow a similar form, but the right time must be selected. A disciple 
must have the necessary qualifications and potential. 

After initiation, she or he is to perform an operation to endue the vidya with 
energy or life. This involves the recitation of the root vidya a specified large 
number of times, although other valid methods exist for preparation. 

The Vidya (Mantra) 

There are said to be fifteen lines of mantra, each perceived by a different Rishi 
(Seer). The most widespread seems to be that called Kadi (beginning with 'Ka'), 
which itself has three sections. The other main division is Hadi, although it is 
said that the Kularnava Tantra incorporates both in a division called Kahadi. 
Devotees of the Kadi line worship the Shri Yantra from the perimeter to the 
centre, while Hadi devotees worship it from the centre to the perimeter. Some of 
the lines of the vidya are said to be broken, and do not run in a continuous 

The Sixty-four Kaula Tantras 

These tantras are enumerated in Vamakeshvara and Kulachudamani Tantras, 
and in other places. At some time in history a school of Shri Vidya was formed 
on an orthodox Vedik basis. A proponent of this school, Lakshmidhara, wrote a 
commentary on the famous Shri Vidya hymn called Saudaryalahari. 

Unfortunately, most of the sixty-four tantras are lost. But their contents may be 
gauged from Lakshmidhara' s commentary. We have to remember that the 
descriptions are based on an orthodox Vedic interpretation. 

1) Mahamaya Sambhara. Deluding of intellect and senses. 2) Yogini Jala 
Sambhara. Involving the agency of Yoginis. 3) Tattva Sambhara. Causing 
elements to appear and transform. 4-11) Eight Bhairava Tantras. The 
commentator says that these are objectionable as they belong to the Kapalikas or 
skull wearers such as Naths, Aghoris, and so forth. 12-19) The Bahurupa 
Astaka. Importance attached to the eight shaktis or Matrikas. 

20-27) The Eight Yamalas. Of these, only Rudra Yamala seems to have 
survived, although it is doubtful that the text which exists is the same as the 
original. Other of the yamalas do exist in part as quotations in later tantras. The 
commentator says these relate to Siddhi. 28) Candra Jnana. Expounds the 16 


Nityas, but condemned as 'it smacks of Kapalika tenets'. 29) Malini Vidya. 
Enabling one to cross great oceans. This could be the Malini Vijaya Tantra, a 
work of the Kashmir Saivites which includes magical operations based on the 36 

30) Maha Sammohana. Hypnosis. 31-33) Vamajusta, Mahadeva and Vatula. 
These are condemned as they deal with Vamachara. 34-35) Vatula Uttara and 
Kamika. The latter is still extant, and belongs to the Kashmir group of Agamas. 
The chief guru of this school is the famous Abhinavagupta. 36) Hridbheda 
Tantra. Condemned through Vamachara. 37-38) Tantrabheda and Guhyatantra. 
Condemned because of retaliatory magic. 39) Kalavada. Digits of the moon, 
induction of chandrakalas, which are the 108 parts of the moon found in a 

40) Kalasara. The rules of colour. There is no reason given for its exclusion. 41) 
Kundika Mata. Attainment of siddhi through elixirs and drugs. 42) Mata Uttara. 
Deals with 'quicksilver'. See the Matrikabheda Tantra. 43) Vinakhya. Power 
over Yakshinis. 44) Trotala. Magical practices of medicine and clairvoyance. 
45) Trotala Uttara. Bringing the 64 crores of yoginis face to face. 46) 
Pancamrita. Nectar from the body. The five nectars are mentioned in the Kaula 
Jnana Nirnaya. 47) Rupabheda. 48) Bhuta Uddamara. 49) Kulasara. 50) 
Kullaoddisha. 51) Kulacudamani. 48,50 and 51 are still available. The 
commentator says these tantras are not sanctioned by Veda. 

52-56) Sarvajna Tantra, Mahakali Mata, Arunesi, Modinisa, Vikunthesvara. 
They are all declared reprehensible as they belong to the digambaras (naked 
sadhus). 57-64) East, West, South, North, Uttara Kaulas, Vimala, Vimalotta, 
Devi Mata. One of these lines still exists. 

The Nine Nathas 

Each of the nine Nathas or lords is identified with an aperture of the human 
body, and with one of the nine mandalas of the whole Shri Yantra. One's own 
guide is Shiva as pervading these nine chakras, and is identified with the current 
of bioenergy called Susunna. They are all meditated on as white, with two eyes 
and two arms, showing the gestures banishing fear and giving boons. They may 
be visualised as being in sexual intercourse with the presiding aspects of the 
Devi in the nine mandalas. 


The Four Oceans 

The four duties of a human being are described as oceans because of their 
limitless extent. The sadhaka in the zone is at the junction point or field of action 
of these four oceans, on the island of gems. 

The Nine Bodily Dhatus 

Each of the nine matters (dhatu) in the body is presided over by an aspect of 
Lalita. The Universe, in Shri Vidya, is said to be time, space, and a combination 
of the two. The first is Shakti, the second Shiva, and the third Shiva and Shakti 
in union. These are also the three eyes on Lalita's face, and sun, moon, fire. 

The Island of Nine Gems 

On this island, which is all and everything, seed and sprout, the six seasons all 
manifest simultaneously. The Aeon Trees (Kalpadruma) are identified with 
resolution as any act undertaken with resolution is fruitful. The six seasons are 
identified with the six tastes of a human being. 

Horses are the five senses as they lead one forward into action, figuratively 
taken as war. It is Lalita who slayed the demon Bhanda with all his fearful 
hordes. All her saktis assisted her in this. Then the celestial city, the Nagar was 
built. Elephants are the objects of senses, or the impressions. 

Shri Vidya implies unity between knower, means of knowledge and knowledge 
itself. These are the three cities. This means that the knower, by means of the 
five instruments of knowledge, offers to knowledge itself, Devi in the yantra. 
(See Bhavanopanishad). 

The Fifteen Nitya Shaktis 

These are modifications of Lalita as red goddess with her three gunas and her 
five elements of aether, air, fire, water and earth. They are identified with the 15 
days of the lunar fortnight. As the moon remains itself, though appearing 
differently according to phase, so too Lalita. Each Nitya has her own vidya, 
yantra and group of energies (saktis). Lalita or Tripurasundari is the 16th day or 
Full moon, with her 15 digits. Each of the 15 Nityas has a certain number of 
arms, the totality of arms (= rays) of the whole circle being 108. Because any 
unit of time is taken as a microcosm or parallel of any other valid unit, each of 
the 15 Nityas has 1440 breaths. 


One lunar fortnight is 21600 breaths — which is the number of a whole cycle or 
process. The breaths of a human being during one day and night are 21600 - 
10800 of which are solar, the other 10800 being lunar. By this device, the unity 
of the 15 Nityas, time, space and a human being is shown. As time is breath in 
Shri Vidya, we find that the periods of the four famous yugas are also based on 
breath. Each breath is influenced during the day by the planets in their waxing 
and waning of power. 

These cause poisons to accumulate in the physical body. Nectar is released when 
the sun mandal 'melts' the moon mandal, and one attains to Hamsa. This is the 
nectar of compassion. 

Lalita as the Whole Universe 

Tantrik rites often include 'nyasas', the placing of some principles in a certain 
sequence on one's own body. The idea is that this process purifies and divinises. 

Lalita's Sodha (sixfold) Nyasa is a highly complex rite in which a practitioner 
places on the body the 51 letters of the alphabet, the planets, the 27 naksatras or 
lunar mansions, the 12 sidereal constellations, and the 51 sacred sites (pithas) of 
all India. 

Placing these different things on the body the practitioner comes to realise 
oneness with the whole cosmos. This ritual also illustrates some important 
concepts. The Tantraraja states that there is no difference between the circle of 
the letters of the alphabet and the sidereal Zodiac. Lalita as devi is Shakti as all 
language, mantra, sound, music and vibration. She is also Shakti of Time as all 
planets and constellations. She is the very essence of sun and moon. Each of 
these realms requires inner comment. 

Fifty -one Ganesas and 51 Letters 

The image of Ganesa illustrates the three realms, elephant, his body human, and 
his vehicle a mouse. These are three realms in one being. He is lord of obstacles 
in three ways. As elephant, his great strength can break harriers. As human, he 
can use his intelligence. As mouse, he can penetrate the smallest places. Every 
aspect of Shri Vidya may be understood in three ways — gross, subtle, and 
supreme — and so the meaning of things often remains uncertain unless you 
already know someone who has the key, or belong to the in group. 

As letters of the alphabet, Lalita is Matrika Shakti, who deludes by her Maya 
through words, speech, mantra. 



The tantriks knew the seven traditional planets of western astrology, and also 
had a greater number of shadowy planets, of which Rahu and Ketu — the nodes 
of the moon — are the best known. The planets are important to an 
understanding of Shri Vidya, but the details are so extensive that they must be 
reserved for a later time. 

Twenty-seven Nakshatras 

These constellations were thought of as beyond the 12 sidereal constellations, so 
remote they were almost beyond time itself. These 27 are employed in Shri 
Vidya to determine suitability of partners, constructing Vajra Yantras, and so 
forth. Each of the 27 has its own animal. A yoni or lingam is classified as being 
harmonious or the reverse according to the position of the natal moon in these 
constellations. They are also associated with sacred herbs and trees, and much 
used in specific or optional rites. 


The Yoginis of the bodily centres (dhatus) reveal very much of interest as they 
are associated with the well known but much misunderstood cakras. These 
Yoginis are really images of the ayurvedic or alchemic bases in the body. 

They can only be understood in relation to such an alchemy. Kundalini is the 
body shakti, the great deluder, the trickster, the cause of sleep. To raise her 
means to become conscious of her manifestation. Shakti in the body has her 
various forms as Prana (Breath) Shakti, fire Shakti and so forth. When Prana 
Shakti becomes agitated, she zigzags up the body. At this time one starts to 
experience dissolution. Various things my be seen and felt. 

Dakini, Rakini &c. preside over the alchemical physical bases of skin, blood, 
flesh, fat, bone, marrow. The last of these yoginis presides over the highest 
dhatu, highest as it forms the physical basis for new life — ova/semen. In this 
form she is truly limitless, as she manifests as the Aeon Tree (Kalpadruma). The 
Dakinis and Rakinis &c. are pictured as terrifying as they consuners of the food 
one ingests. 

Twelve Rashis (Constellations) 

These are viewed as 12 great suns or sun Kalas, mighty Adityas presiding over 
great affairs, feeding on human beings and their essence. 


Fifty-one Pithas 

These are places in India particularly sacred to devi, as they mark the spots 
where the parts of her body fell after it was sliced into pieces by the discus of 
Visnu. The yoni fell at Kamarupa, hence the special spiritual regard in which 
this place is held by Kaulas. 

The Nadis 

Nadi means river, and is extended to include other currents and courses, such as 
those of the bioenergy and the pulse. Ayurvaidyas have written works 
distinguishing various types of pulse indicating dysfunction of the three powers. 
Nadi is also 150th part of the ascendant in a birth chart based on the sidereal 
zodiac. Such a birth chart is called Rashi Kundali. It is impossible to cast 
accurate charts without knowing which nadi rules a person or time. Each nadi 
has an aspect of the devi ruling it, and a solar and lunar part — hence there are 
3600 in the zodiac. 

There are said to be 72000 nadis in the human organism. This number indicates 
a large but not infinite number of channels of bioenergy. They are the pathways 
of Prana Shakti. 

The chief pathways are Susumna, extending from a point between the anus and 
genitals to the top of the head; ida and pingala, which are the solar and lunar 
pathways coiled around the central channel. This Susumna is Shiva and Shakti 
in sexual union. The human body is conceived of as a tree — the root is at the top 
of the head, and it ramifies downwards. These channels are the pathways or 
body vehicles for Vata, one of the three dosas or humours in Ayurveda of the 
human body, and constitute the central nervous system with three main 


Marmas are 108 in number, well documented points of the human organisn 
which, if pierced, usually cause death. Many are recognised by western 
medicine. On the Shri Yantra, marmas are represented by the confluence of 
three or more lines. 



These are joints in the human frame, knee joint, elbow joint &c. The body is the 
temple of the devi. On the Shri Yantra sandhis are represented by the junction of 
two lines. 

Meaning of Kula 

A 'kula' is a Shakti. The foregoing shows that each Shakti in the yantra is some 
energy of the human organism in its gross, subtle, or causal aspects. 'Akula' (lit. 
'not Kula') is Shiva. 

"Having abandoned her family of young Kula women, she becomes Shiva, with 
no qualities, no characteristics, devoid of the form of time." — Vamakesvara 

"All things the body. The body is the sacrificial ladle. Knowledge is the food." — 
Shiva Sutras II, 9-10. 

The Weapons of Lalita 

Lalita holds five flowery arrows, noose, goad and bow. The noose is attachment 
(moon). The goad is repulsion (sun). The sugarcane bow is the mind. The 
flowery arrows are the five sense impressions. When oonsciousness perceives 
these, the outward directed arrows stop being dry sticks. 

These five flowery arrows together with the bow are personified as six Krishnas 
or Kamadevas. V84 of ch xxiv of Tantrarajatantra states that Lalita assumed a 
male form as Krishna, and 'by enveloping all women enchanted the whole 
world'. Each of the six forms is like dawn, with six arms, holding flute, noose, 
goad, sugarcane bow, flowers, sour milk. 

Eroticism in Shri Vidya 

The physiology of Shri Vidya postulates macrocosm and microcom as one. 
From this follows the realisation that the sexual union of man and wanan mirrors 
the cosmic creation. It is natural that loving sexuality should be seen to have a 
cosmic status. 

Kaulas have been criticised as their works emphasise love and death, but they 
were always realists. Many tantras establish that the terrifying Kali and the 
benign Lalita are two sides of the same coin. This coin or currency is called life. 


Lalita, with her waxing moon, represents creation, and Kalika with her waning 
moon dissolution. Each is a complete symbol, of high sublimity and loaded with 
spiritual significance. 

The Fifteen Syllable Mantra 

A chart, in Sanskrit, in the Adyar Library edition of Varivasya Rahasya, which 
deals with the fifteen lettered Vidya of Lalita is so useful to an understanding of 
Shri Vidya and the yantra that we have summarised its contents below. 

The Kadi Vidya runs ka e i la hrim: ha sa ka ha la hrim: sa ka la hrim. There is 
also a secret 16th syllable said to be the quintessence of Lalita. 

There vidya, yantra, guru, disciple, goddess are all conceived of as being one. 
The Shri Yantra is within the wheel of time (Kalacakra), and represents the 
human body (microcosm), and the universe (macrocosm). These 15 letters are 
conceived to exist within the meru or spine of a human being, from the base to 
the top of the head. 

The seven (or nine) 'cakras' are strung along this thread of light, as are the 
different mandals or circles of Shri Yantra. Note that the Lalita Vidya is itself 
divided into three parts, each represents fire, sun and moon. 

Different letters of the alphabet all exist in a subtle form within the spinal cord. 
Each chakra is presided over by a Yogini whose function is connected with the 
transmutation of food, which is alchemy of the food factory. 

There are 50 petals associated with these six cakras as there are 50 letters of the 
Sanskrit alphabet. 21600/50 = 432. The cakra of the absolute or semen/ova itself 
has 1000 letters or petals. Semen is conceived of as residing here because of its 
alchemical nature as an elixir produced by the synthesis of the forms of food. 

These three which are oneness are knower, means of knowledge, object of 
knowledge. Their union is called samarasa. 

The three corners of the central triangle of the Shri Chakra are presided over by 
three symbolic Nathas. The Fourth Natha, Shiva Himself, is united with Shakti 
in the centre of the Bindu. 

This Bindu, united Shiva Shakti, creates the cosmos. If we observe nature we 
see that the Shri Cakra (child) comes from the sexual union or samarasa (perfect 
assimilation) of man (Shiva) and woman (Shakti). 


Their samarasa is known as the Fourth, because it appears when all three are 
present, and also produces or has the three as its powers or saktis. 

This Fourth is awareness, the witness, the enjoyer, the measurer, the measuring 
stick, and the measured, Adinatha, the merulingam, beyond time and space, and 
therefore outside the Shri Yantra or the cosmos as modification or play of sun, 
moon and fire. These last three form the body of Lalita. 

The three saktis of the Fourth are known as Kamesvari, Vajresi and 
Bhagamalini, in the symbolism of Shri Vidya. 

They are also the saktis Iccha, Jnana and Kriya (Knowledge, Will, Action), and 
in their aspects as Creator, Maintainer and Destroyer are known as Varna, who 
vomits forth the universe, Jyesta who maintains, and Raudri who dissolves. 

The body of a human being is made up of these three in combination and 
blending. They are active, passive and reconciling. 

The three are also symbolised as three holy mountains known as Kamagiri, 
Purnagiri, and Jalandhari. The apex of these foothills is the very secret 
Oddiyana, at the centre of Shri Yantra. The three also represent three symbolic 
lingas within the human frame. 

Conceived of as the human body, and as the Mem or subtle spine, these three 
places are points of convergence or pilgrimage of the channels of bioenergy 
connected with the sun and moon. There is a correspondence between these 
channels in the body, and the luminaries in the heaven. 

As the Shri Yantra is Time and Space, all constellations, planets, lunar 
mansions, are conceived of as being the body of Lalita, Maha Tripura Sundari. It 
was these three cities that were destroyed by Lord Shiva, and described in the 
Shiva Mahimna Stotra. 

At the confluence of the three rivers of bioenergy are three lingams of Supreme 
Shiva, resorted to by the wise. One united with the Fourth is liberated. Others 
are deluded by the Maya or play of the goddess, who, with her three aspects in 
all is known as Mahamaya Adya, the womb of all. 

She deludes by her every process, and has the form of Matrika devi, or goddess 
of speech and words. The 15 syllables of the vidya are usually disguised in 
symbolic design or code. The three Hrims are called the three maya granthis or 
knots of delusion. This Hrim breaks down into Ha for Shiva, Ha for Shakti, and 
Im for samarasa. 


The Fourth (Turiya) also pervades consciousness in its states of waking, 
dreaming and deep sleep. This is also expressed in the Shiva Sutra. 

Meaning of Shri Vidya 

The Yogini Hridaya, the second part of the Vamakeshvara Tantra, states that the 
mantra has several meanings. Some are literal, others traditional, inner, Kaulika, 
occult and real. 

Literal Meaning 

The syllables represent Shiva and Shakti. The first part, Ka E I La Hrim, is 
called Vagbhava, and is Varna Shakti, Brahma, Jnana Shakti, and Eastern Face. 
The second part, Ha Sa Ka Ha La hrim, is Kamaraja, Jyesta Shakti, Visnu, Iceha 
Shakti, and Southern Face. The third part, Sa Ka La hrim, is called Shakti, is 
Raudri Shakti, Rudra, Kriya Shakti and Western Face. The fourth part, the 
hidden or secret syllable, is mother goddess, Shambhu Natha, the totality of the 
three shaktis of Knowledge, Will and Action, and the Northern Face or amnaya. 

Traditional Meaning 

Ka = air, Ha = fire, Sa = water, La = earth, Ha = aether. The vowels are above 
aether. The 15 syllables are 1 of aether, 2 of air, three of fire, four of water, and 
five of earth. The three forms of La represent the three Worlds. The five forms 
of the letter Ha represent sound. 

Inner Meaning 

The vidya shows oneness of Shiva, Guru, devi and disciple; as it is Shiva in 
sound form (Shakti) which preserves the line. 

Kaula Meaning 

The Mother goddess is known as Ganeshi (Lady of Hosts), because of her great 
nunber of rays. These are the Ganesas of the sixfold Nyasa. Devi has three eyes 
which are sun, moon, fire. She has three saktis which are Will, Knowledge, 
Action. She has three gunas which are active, passive, reconciling. These are the 
nine planets. The 27 naksatras are 10 Knowledge and Action modes, 10 objects 
of senses, Devi, Deva, three gunas as one, and the four inner causes. The six 
yoginis have their names beginning Da, Ra, La, Ka, Sa, Ha — and end in 'akini'. 
They preside over the physical bases (dhatus) of the body. The 12 sidereal 
constellations are the 10 vital breaths, the embodied being (jiva), and the 


Supreme Creator. The 5 1 pithas correspond to the letters of the alphabet, and are 
points of confluence one should visit within the body. Each of the three sections 
of the vidyas represents speech — in potential, in formation, in manifestation. 
The Devi is Matrika Shakti. 

Breath is Time 

This is a fundamental postulate of Shri Vidya and much of the symbolism is 
based on it. The letters of Sanskrit said to represent the embodiment of Laiita as 
mantra are 52 in number: 16 vowels and 36 consonants. These, multiplied 
together, total 576. This number, divided by nine yields 64. The Shri Yantra is 
said to have 64,000,000 yoginis in the nine sub-mandalas. 

Each mandala has a unit of Time associated with it. The basic unit is a breath. 
One nadika is equal to 24 minutes or 1440 seconds, and each breath is one 360th 
of this, or four seconds. A human being breathes 21600 times each 24 hours. 

A Kali Yuga is 432,000 years of 360 days. A Dvapara Yuga is 864,000 years. A 
Treta Yuga is 1,296,000 years. A Satya Yuga is 1,728,000 years. The circle of 
the sidereal zodiac has 12 constellations, each of which has nine parts 
(navamshas). These 108 (12 x 9) are called Candrakalas. 

Each Candrakaia is, itself, a micro-constellation. The number of degrees in the 
sidereal cakra is 360. The number of minutes is 21600. A conjunction is 21600', 
a square 5400', an opposition 10800'. Each eternity (Nitya) of the root mantra 
has 1440 breaths. (See the prayoga of Bhavana Upanishad). This implies that 
Laiita is 21600, as she is the collectivity of the 15 Nityas. 

Lalita's cakra is the grand synthesis of Time, Space, and humankind. Her 36 
tattvas are the whole cosmos. 

Ritual Accessories (Upachara) 

These can be multiplied indefinitely. The chief are scent (earth), incense (air), 
flame (fire), water, and flowers (aether). They should all be red, or tinged with 
red. They represent, in their basic form, the five impressions. See Gandharva 
T antra. 

Devatas of the Leftovers 

At the end of the rite Vatuka Natha is in the NE, and takes flame leftovers; 
Yoginis in the SE take mantra leftovers; Kshetrapala in the SW takes scent and 
incense leftovers; Ganesa, in the NW, takes mudra leftovers. The aspect of 


Lalita called Sosika consumes everything that is left. She is worshipped in the 
NE in a circular pit. 


This is the name of a specific kind of mantra used at the four twilights of dawn, 
midday, dusk and midnight. There are Vedik and Tantrik gayatris. Lalita has her 
own which is tripurasundaryai vidmahe kameshvaryai dhimahi tanno klinne 

Esoteric Meaning of the Vidya 

This leads the sadhaka to identify the vidya with moon, sun and fire, as sections 
of the central or Susunna Nadi, relating to Intellect, Emotions, and Physical 
Sensations. These have to he brought together for the Fourth to appear. There 
are 10 fire kalas, 12 sun kalas, and 15 moon kalas. The 16th includes them all. 


The letters of the vidya are Nada, or sound, and the absolute, and end as uttered 
sound. When charged with the consciousness of the Fourth these mere letters 
become mantra. Otherwise, words continually delude. 

The 16th syllable of the vidya also represents the Fourth. This Fourth is 
Kamakala. Beyond it is the Ultimate Absolute (Atiturya - beyond the Fourth), 
and beyond any sort of description. 

Meditation on Lalita 

/ bow to the goddess made of mantra, who consists of the 51 Ganeshas, the nine 
planets, the 27 constellations, the six Yoginis, the 12 signs of the Zodiac and the 
51 letters of the alphabet and sacred sites. Vamakeshvara Tantra 

"Then one should meditate on Devi, resembling a lotus, like the early morning 
rays of the Sun, like a hibiscus or a pomegranate flower, red as a ruby, or like 
kumkuma dissolved in water, adorned with a bedazzling jewel in Her diadem, 
and by a dense mass of small bells, Her mouth, like a line of black bees, amidst 
beautifully curved red lips, the circle of Her face like the dawn or a day lotus, a 
curved half moon of nectar on Her forehead, Her eyes like bows, and a beautiful 
brow, Parameshvari. 


"Her eyes are moving playfully to and fro, filled with joy and bliss, the 
roundness of Her cheeks surpassing the curve of the lunar crescent. The slender 
line which is Her nose is like a beautiful wanton shoot. Her upper nectar like lip 
is of the red effulgence of copper or coral. Her smile is sweeter than honey, the 
quintessence of love. Her very beautiful chin is endowed with all beauty. 

"Her neck is shell-like, She has large, open eyes, arms as graceful as lotus stalks. 
Her hands equal in appearance very beautiful red lotuses, and Her nails are 
brighter than brightness itself. Her rising breasts uplift a slender pearl necklace, 
which resenbles a shower of nectar on them. Her truly beautiful belly is adorned 
with three lines. 

"Her charming begemned navel is like a stream. The roundness of Her hips is 
like a precious jewel, She wears a girdle of pearls, and has beautiful buttocks. 
The circle of Her buttocks is cleft by a line, Her hair like royal elephant goads. 
Isvari, Her very beautiful thighs are like two beautiful plantain stems. Her two 
lovely legs are like two charming plant stems. Her unblemished lotus feet are 
like the crest gem of Brahma. 

"Her redness surpasses the redness of the China Rose, vermilion, or the 
pomegranate flower. She is clothed in red garments, holding an effulgent noose 
and a goad. She sits on a red lotus, and is adorned with red gems. She has four 
arms and three eyes, and She holds five arrows and a bow. Her mouth is filled 
with various pieces of betel mixed with camphor. 

"Her beautiful gazelle like body, smeared with red powder, is the vanquisher of 
the God of Love. She wears the most beautiful kind of clothes, and is adorned 
with every kind of precious gem. She is the Mother Who gladdens creation, the 
cause of happiness in the world, causing all love in the world, creating the 
world, the Devi made of Mantra, great good fortune Sundari, consisting of all 
wealth, eternal, supremely blissful, joyful." - dhyana from Vamakeshvara 
T antra. 



By the annihilation of evil desires (durvasana), the unchanging (sthira) Atma 
manifests itself This Atma is eternal (nitya), true and therefore without a second 
and great (mahan, i.e. not limited by time and space). It may also be attained by 
means laid down in Nityahridaya T antra (i.e. Yoginihridaya) - Introduction to 
Tantrarajatantra, Woodroffe 

Compiled by Umanandanatha, a disciple of the famous Shri Vidya upasaka 
Bhasuranandanatha (Bhaskararaya), the Nityotsava is ostensibly based on the 
Parashurama Kalpasutras, a collection of brief aphorisms outlining many of the 
features of Shri Vidya, for which see other pages on this Web site. 

Some of the material contained in this text has been translated and is also 
available on this site. See the sections under the heading Shri Kula on the index 

The Nityotsava contains very little philosophical material on the cults which 
centre around the famous Shri Yantra, but a wealth of detail on the ritual, the 
mantras and other features of this complex tantrik form. These include not only 
the worship of Mahatripurasundari, but also of Ganapati (Ganesh), Dandini 
(Varahi) and Shyama (Kurukulla). There are also chapters dealing with practices 
common to all tantrik devata. 

Mantras and other ritual details below use the iTrans format, which you can 
view in their Devanagari characters by copying and pasting into the freeware 
program Itranslator. 

Chapter One 

This section is devoted to initiation (diksha), and starts with a salutation to the 
nine Nathas, to Shiva, to Ganesh, to the Empress (Maharajni = Tripura) and to 
the gurus of the tradition. 

After this, Umanandanatha goes on to describe initiation, starting first with 
descriptions of the act contained in the Kalanirnaya (Kaulanirnaya?) and the 
Manthana Bhairava tantras. This section outlines the times for diksha, which are 
closely linked to Indian sidereal astrology. Initiation in certain of the 27 
asterisms brings different results, while the days of the week also have their own 
merits, while the 15 days of the moon (tithis) also are said to have specific 
results. The text then quotes from other texts along similar lines. 


The text quotes authorities for times which are not suitable for initiation, which 
mentions a number of yogas (planetary combinations in this context), where 
malefics, that is the Sun (Ravi), Mars (Bhauma), Saturn (Shani), the nodes of the 
moon (Rahu and Ketu) and the Waning Moon are conjoined in certain places in 
a horoscope for the time of initiation. 

The next section in this chapter deals with the characteristics of guru and pupil, 
quoting from the Tantrarajatantra. The guru should be handsome, full of 
virtues, situated in himself, and know the essence of many tantras. He should be 
free from doubt, having cut through such doubts by the grace of his own guru. 
The pupil should be free from greed, controlled of senses, steady, faithful, and 
devoted to guru, mantra and devata. 

The text mentions the nature of Tripura Siddhanta, based as it is on the 35 (36) 
tattvas of earth, water, fire, air, space (aether), smell, taste, sight, hearing, sound, 
etc. Then follows details of mantra upasana, the duty of an upasaka of 
Tripurasundari, and different types of initiation such as Shambhavi diksha, 
Shakti diksha and Mantri diksha. The text talks of Samayachara, of the 
Kuladharma, and the competence of people for given mantras. 

Chapter Two 

This chapter deals with Ganapati (Ganesh) and his ritual worship, including the 
mantras, tarpana (oblations) and nyasas necessary. 

It then goes on to deal with the puja proper, the necessary substances with which 
to accomplish this, the dhyana of Vighneshvara (Lord of Obstacles), worship of 
the pitha Shaktis, named in this text as Tivra, Jalini, Nanda, Bhogada, 
Kamarupini, Ugra, Tejovati, Satya and Vighnashini. Mantras should commence 
shrl.m hrl.m kll.m and end with namaH. The six limb puja (shadangapuja) is as 
follows :— 

shrl.m hrl.m kll.m OM gA.m hR A idayAya namaH 

hR A idayashaktishrIpAdukA.m pUjayAmi .. 

3 shrl.m gl.m shirase svAhA shirashshaktishrlpAdukA.m pUjayAmi .. 

3 hrl.m gU.m shikhAyai vaShaT.h shikhAshaktishrlpAdukA.m pUjayAmi .. 

3 kll.m gai.m kavachAya hum.h kavachashaktishrlpAdukA.m pUjayAmi .. 

3 glau.m gau.m netratrayAya vauShaT.h netratrayashaktishrlpAdukA.m 

pUjayAmi .. 

3 ga.m gaH astrAya phaT.h astrashaktishrlpAdukA.m pUjayAmi .. 


The text then goes on to detail the three aughas or lines of guru related to 
Mahaganapati, which are divided into the divya (celestial), the siddha and the 
manava (mortal) lines. 

The text then describes puja of the Mahaganapati yantra, which is divided into 
five parts. The first set of attendants relate to the three lines, the six lines, and 
the space between the lines. The second avarana relates to the six konas. The 
third avarana is connected with the junction points (sandhis) of the six konas, 
and are the six limb devatas. The fourth avarana is related to the eight petals, 
starting from the west, with the Devis there being Brahmi, Maheshvari, 
Kaumari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Mahendri, Chamunda and Mahalakshmi. The fifth 
avarana relates to the earth-square or bhupura and worships the guardians of the 
directions, the kshetrapalas, given in the text as Indra, Agni, Yama, Nairriti, 
Varuna, Vayu, Soma, and Ishana. Each of these forms holds his appropriate 
weapon, rides his appropriate vahana, and holds his appropriate direction and 
sub direction in the order given. Thus, although the Nityotsava contains no 
illustration of the yantra, it can be constructed as triangle, hexagon, eight petals 
and earthsquare. 

After worship of the avarana deities, Gananatha (Ganapati, Ganesh) should be 
worshipped with sixteen ritual accessories. Then follows a description of the fire 
sacrifice, the giving of bali, a stotra about tarpana (oblation), a dhyana or 
meditation on Ganapati, the ashtakam or eight limbed hymn, Suvasini puja, and 
the purashcharana, or preparatory rites to be performed in his worship. 

Chapter Three 

This large chapter, called Shri Krama, deals with the worship of Lalita 
Tripurasundari, and opens with Umanandanatha bowing to his guru, Shri 
Bhasurananda Natha. 

After outlining the contents of this important chapter, Umanandanatha starts by 
describing the guru meditation, and describes a process known as 
pranasamyaman, where the vital energy is directed to the top of the head, where 
the guru is said to reside. 

The sadhaka is then recommended to meditate on the ajapa gayatri, the "non- 
recited" gayatri of 21,600 breaths a human takes every day. Then follow details 
relating to bathing, and to sandhya or the twilight worship. Here, there is to 
meditation on the sun as Martandabhairava, seated in union with his Shakti, 
Prakashashakti. The tantrik Gayatri of Tripurasundari is described as:- 


ai.m hrl.m shrl.m ka e I la hrl.m tripurasundari vidmahe ai.m hrl.m shrl.m ha sa 
ka ha la hrl.m pIThakAmini dhlmahi ai.m hrl.m shrl.m sakalahrl.m tannaH 
klinne prachodayAt.h. 

This combines the Gayatri with the 15-lettered vidya of Lalita Tripurasundari. 

After these preliminaries, the Shri Krama chapter begins to describe the puja 
proper, together with the rites necessary when entering a temple. These include 
worship of the different kalas (parts) of the Sun, Moon and Fire, followed by a 
short section which describes the material of which a Shri Yantra may be 
fashioned. Gold, silver, copper and other metallic plates are mentioned, while 
substances such as sindura, kumkum, and milk are required. The form of the 
yantra is described, but only as bindu, triangle, eight triangles, two sets of 10 
triangles, fourteen triangles, eight petals with filaments, 16 petals with filaments, 
three circles and four lines. Next comes the procedure of breathing life into a 
yantra, followed by temple worship, a section which we have translated 
elsewhere on this site. 

The process of bhutashuddhi, or purification of the elements follows, followed 
by a technique using mantras which is supposed to fence off the area from 
obstructions, bhutas, and other obstacles. 

Nine nyasas are recommended for the worship of Lalita, and these are listed in 
the text as matrikanyasa, karashuddhinyasa (hand purification), 
atmarakshanyasa (protection of the atma), chaturasananyasa, Bala six -limbed 
nyasa, Vashini and the other (Vakdevatas) nyasa, root vidya nyasa, shodhanyasa 
and chakranyasa. The next section deals with placing of the vesel for the 
ordinary offering, which are to be upon a design with a bindu, a triangle, a 
hexagon and a square enclosure. This is followed by a long section describing 
the preparation of special offering. 

Umanandanatha quotes from the Jnanarnava Tantra next to describe the inner 
yaga or meditation on the Shri Yantra which is to be performed, while the next 
section deals with the worship of the 64 ritual accessories (upacharas) used in 
the puja. Then follow the mantras of the Fifteen Nityas, which, unlike in the 
Tantraraja, are given in full and without special code. 

A large section on the different gurus in the Shri Vidya tradition follows this 
section, and, as in the Ganapati section of Nityotsava, these are divided into 
celestial, siddha and mortal gurus, both for the vidya (mantra) that begins with 
Ka (Kadi) and for that which begins with Ha (Hadi). 


The celestial gurus in the Kadi group are listed as Paraprakashandanatha, 
Parashivanandanatha, Parashaktyamba, Kauleshvaranandanatha, 
Shukladevyamba, Kuleshvaranandanatha and Kameshvaryamba. The siddha 
aughas are Bhoganandanatha, Chinnanandanatha, Samayanandanatha and 
Sahajanandanatha. The manava augha consists of Gaganandanatha, 
Vishvananandanatha, Vimalanandanatha, Madanandanatha, 
Bhuvananandanatha, Lilanandanatha, Svatmanandanatha and Priyanandanatha. 

At the close of this lengthy section, mantras are given for other, unknown gurus. 

The next section opens with the puja of the attendants of the mandalas of the 
Shri Yantra, nine in number. As these have been listed in full elsewhere on this 
site, we refer you to the appropriate sections. This is followed by the sadhaka 
being enjoined to meditate on Kamakala, which consists of the three bindus and 
the ardha-matra. Brief instructions for homa, giving bali, pradakshina and 
circumambulation follow, before a stotra or hymn to Tripurasundari is to be 

Following this is Suvasini Puja, with a mantra given for purification of the 
Shakti which reads ai.m hrl.m shrl.m ai.m kll.m sauH tripurAyai namaH imA.m 
shakti.m pavitrl kuru mama shakti.m kuru svAhA. The Shakti should then be 
given various good things such as garments, flower, incense, light, unguents and 
powders, as well as food and pan. A lengthy section dealing with purification of 
wine and other substances used in the rite should follow. 

Although mentioned briefly above, a lengthy section follows dealing with the 
right way to create a Shri Yantra, and the number of marmas and sandhis that 
result from drawing it correctly. This is so interesting that in future we will place 
it on the site in iTrans format and translate it. Then follows a brief secton of the 
different prastaras of the Shri Yantra and the pranapratishta of the Shri Chakra, 
which imbues the device with life and which is translated elsewhere on this site, 
is given in full. A yantra made of gold lasts for life, one of silver 22 years, 
copper 12, and on bhurja bark six years. 

A lengthy section follows on the homas that may be performed, while the next 
section describes the mudras or hand-gestures used in the Kadi Shri Vidya cult. 

The next section deals with the types of nyasas used when worshipping 
Tripurasundari. These were mentioned earlier (see above) and a number of 
them, including the lengthy Shodhanyasa and the Shri Chakra Nyasa are 
elsewhere on this site. 


Instructions on how to perform japa (recitation of the vidya) are then given. 
Instructions are given for reciting various vidyas such as the Kameshvari 
mantra, the Kamakala mantra, the Utkilana mantra, and a large number of other 
mantras relating to Tripurasundari, to her aspects or to various elements of her 
worship, such as the rosary, are then described in full. 

The Fifteen Nitya mantras are given again, as well as special mantras for 
"miraculous" aspects of Tripura such as Asvarudha, Bala, Annapurna, 
Svapnavarahi and many others. Some of these aspects, together with the 
prayogas (applications) relating to them are described in the Tantrarajatantra 
and other places, and relate to magical powers that a sadhaka can achieve 
through their use. 

A section then follows on optional rites that may be performed in various solar 
months, and which the Tantrarajatantra also details. 

Chapter Four 

Details the rites of Shyama, the dusky form of Tripura, who is described 
elsewhere in Shri Vidya tantras as Tara or Kurukulla, and who is the "mother" 
form, just as Varahi is the "father" form of the goddess. 

The nyasas and the other elements in tantrik puja are described, together with 
the yantra to be drawn, and the avaranas to be worshipped. 

In the central triangle Rati, Priti and Manobhava receive puja, followed by the 
five arrows in the triangles of the pentangle. On the tips of this star the five 
forms of Krishna, one with Kali, receive worship, while the eight devatas 
Brahmi, etc. receive worship in the eight petalled lotus. On the tips or filaments 
of the lotus Laksmi, Sarasvati, Rati, Priti, Kirti, Shanti, Pushti, and Tushti are 

The sixteen petalled lotus has sixteen Shaktis or attendants named in the text as 
Varna, Jyeshtha, Raudri, Shanti, Shraddha, Sarasvati, Kriyashakti, Lakshmi, 
Srishti, Mohini, Pramathini, Ashvasini, Vichi, Vidyunmalini, Surananda and 
Nagabuddhika. This is the fourth avarana. 

In the outer lotus of eight petals are the Bhairavas Asitanga, Rum, Chanda, 
Krodha, Unmatta, Kapali, Bhishana and Samhara. Inside the four petals are 
Matangishvari, Siddhalakshmi, Mahamatangi, and Mahasiddhalakshmi. This is 
the sixth avarana. Ganapati, Durga, Vatuka and Kshetrapala are to be 
worshipped in the square, followed by protectors of the directions. 


Then follows a description of recitation of the mantra of Matangi, followed by 
praise of that aspect of the goddess. Rules for an upasaka (worshipper) of 
Shyama follow, including details of the purashcharana and so forth required, as 
well as the types of homa, a description of the Kurma Chakra, purification of the 
mala or rosary, and a lengthy section on how to purify Rudraksha malas 
specifically. Optional homas and the dimensions of the fire pits to be used are 

Chapter Five 

This chapter of Nityotsava deals with the puja rites of Dandini, in this context 
similar to the "father form" Varahi. As in previous chapters, the various nyasas, 
upacharas and other ritual details relating to Dandini are described, together with 
the gurus of the parampara and the different avaranas of her yantra. The mantras 
of Varahi and a lengthy Varahi stotra are described. 

Chapter Six 

This very brief chapter is called the Parapaddhati, and describes the general 
form of worship or puja for other devatas. 

Chapter Seven 

Describes a number of practices, pujas and mantras common to all, and makes 
quotations from Pancharatra texts, the Tantraraja and other sources. 

Various chakras used to determine the time of initiation, such as the Kulakula 
and the Rini-dani are described, as well as a number of mantras which are used 
to ensure that the root mantra, that is the mantra of the ishtadevata or desired 
form of divinity, is successful. These purifications relate to the birth, the life and 
other stages that a mantra is assumed to have. 


Lalita's Paradise Island 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to the sea of nectar; island of Gems; garden of Various 
Trees; Aeon Tree garden; Santana garden; Hari Chandana garden; Mandata 
garden; Parijata garden; Kadamba garden; Enclosing wall of Topaz; Enclosing 
wall of Ruby; enclosing wall of Gomeda gem; enclosing wall of Diamond; 
Enclosing wall of Vaidurya gem. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hail to the Enclosing Wall of Sapphire; Enclosing Wall of 
Pearl; Enclosing wall of Emerald; Enclosing wall of Coral; Jewelled Pavilion; 
Pavilion Adorned with 1000 Bunches of Flowers; nectar Lake; Bliss Lake; 
Mirror Lake; Shining sun; Shining moon; Great Beautiful Gate; Great Forest of 
Lotuses; Palace made of Wish Fulfilling gem. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hail to the Eastern Face Doer; Southern Face Door; Western 
Face Door; Northern Face Door; Circle of Jewelled Lamps; Great Lion Throne 
Made of Gems; Brahma Couch Foot; Vishnu Couch Foot; Rudra Couch Foot; 
Ishvara Couch Foot; Sadashiva Couch Foot; Hamsa Mattress; Pillow on the 
Hamsa Mattress; Mattress strewn with safflower; the great canopy; Aim Hrim 
Shrim hail to the great curtain. 

One should worship using these 44 temple mantras, employing flowers and rice. 
- Nityotsava, translated in Lalita Magic, Sothis Weirdglow 1983. 

There is a beautiful island, scented by fragrant breezes, with a multitude of 
gardens, lakes and bowers and there Shri Shri Lalita Devi resides. Before you 
enter through the great curtain you must pass through four gates, to the east, 
south, west and north of Her lion throne. Her canopy is also a hidden gate. This 
symbolism has some similarities to Shiva with his five faces. The scheme is set 
out in full below for the lovers of intricacy. There's a drawing of a scheme by 
Mark Bostel, and published in Lalita Magic. 

East of the Lion Throne 

1) Bala. Her mantra is Aim Klim Sauh. She dwells in the centre of a forest of 
trees with bright orange-coloured blossoms (Kadambas), in the centre of a 
Jewelled pavilion, below a great Aeon Tree, seated on a Jewelled throne, a 
priceless gem as Her diadem, at Her feet a Jewelled pot, with jewels as necklace, 
effulgent bracelets, holding a book and dispelling fear with Her left hand, with 
Her right holding a rosary, 


2) Sampatprada Bhairavi. Mantra: Hsraim Hasakalarim Hsraum. She is as 
bright as 1000 rising suns, charming, wearing red linen garments, with a garland 
of flowers on her head, her breasts smeared with red unguent, carrying a china 
rose, a hook, dispelling fear and granting boons, with 3 eyes, a face full of love- 
play, the Moon as her diadem, smiling slowly. 

3) Chaitanya Bhairavi. Mantra: Shaim Sa Ka La Hrim Shrauh. Like 1000 
rising suns, adorned with various Jewels, crescent moon as diadem, wearing red 
clothes, carrying noose and goad, bestowing boons and dispelling fear, she is 
adorned with skulls, has massive round swelling firm breasts. 

4) Chaitanya Bhairavi (b). Mantra: Shaim Sa Ka La Hrim Nityaklinne 
Madadrave Sauh. She carries noose and goad, and a skull, she is red, garlanded 
with skulls, seated on a throne made of five corpses. 

5) Kameshvari Bhairavi. Mantra: Ha Sa Kha Phrem Ba Sa Ka La Rim Ha 
Saum. She is bright as 1000 rising suns, the Moon is her diadem, she has 3 eyes, 
beautiful gems, red clothes, garland of bloody heads, carries a trident, a damaru, 
a sword, a shield, a bow and arrow, a noose and a goad. 

South of the Lion Throne 

1) Aghora Bhairavi. Mantra: Aghore Aim Ghore Hrim Sarvatah Sarvasarvebhy 
Ghoraghoratare Shrim Namaste astu Rudrarupebhyah Klim Sauh. She is 
reddish, like a 1000 suns, the Moon is bound in her hair, she wears various 
gems, has pearls as a diadem, wears a blossoming red line of skulls, has 3 
beautiful eyes, with large swelling breasts, wearing red clothes, young, wanton, 
holds a book and dispels fear in her two left hands, and in her right holds a 
rosary and bestows boons. She is seated on a great corpse. 

2) Mahabhairavi. Mantra: Ha Sraim Ha Sa Ka La Hrim Ha Srau. Description 
as (1) above. 

3) Lalitabhairavi. Mantra: Hrim Klim Hsraum. She is like 1000 rising suns, 
with flaming rubies as her diadem, red pearl earrings, limbs smeared with red 
unguent, bedecked with beautiful red flowers, wears red clothes, holds noose, 
goad, book and rosary. She is the Kumari form. 

4) Kameshi Bhairavi. Mantra: Klim. She is effulgent as the China Rose. She 
carries bow and arrows and is adorned with precious gems. 

5) Raktanetra Bhairavi. Mantra: Saim Sa Ka La Rim Sauh. She has a flaming 
ruby coloured diadem, red pearl earrings, her limbs all smeared with red paste, a 


garland of beautiful red flowers, red clothes, holds a noose, goad, book and 
rosary, is wanton, youthful, without shame, has beautiful rising large breasts, 
beautiful buttocks and lovely slender waist. 

West of the Lion Throne 

1) Satkuta Bhairavi. Mantra: Ha Sa Ka La Ra Daim Ha Sa Ka La Ra Dim Ha 
Sa Ka La Ra Dauh. She is as brilliant as the sun at dawn, resembling the China 
Rose, wearing a garland of skulls, at her feet is a gold vessel, she has large 
swelling breasts, holds a noose, goad, book and rosary. Sits on a corpse. 

2) Nitya Bhairavi. Mantra: Da Ra La Ka Sa Haim Da Ra La Ka Sa Him Da Ra 
La Ka Sa Hauh. Seated on 5 skulls, wears a garland of skulls, as effulgent as the 
sun. Adorned with gems, holds a noose and goad and dispels fear and grants 

3) Mrita Samjivani. Mantra: Hrim Hamsah Samjivani Jum Jivah 
Pranagranthim Kuru Kuru Kuru Kuru Svaha. No description given. 

4) Mrityunjayapara. Mantra: Vada Vada Vagvadini Ha Saim Klinne Kledini 
Mahakshobham Kuru Kuru Hasaim Om Moksha Kuru Kuru Ha Sauh. Dwelling 
in the centre of the Kadamba Forest, she holds a book in her left hand, and in her 
right a rosary. She is as white as dazzling jasmine. 

5) Vajra Prastarini. Mantra: Hrim Klinne Aim Krom Nitya Madadrave Hrim. 
She is in the centre of the Kadamba Forest, red, with a beautiful crescent Moon 
(Moon Kala) as her diadem, very red, with 3 beautiful eyes, upon a great y antra 
in the centre of a crimson sea, holds pomegranate, arrow, noose, goad, bow, 
skull. She is smeared with red. 

North of the Lion Throne 

1) Bhuvaneshvari Bhairavi. Mantra: Hasraim Ha Sa Ka La Hrim Hrasaum. 
She is as brilliant as a China Rose, like a pomegranate flower, with a crescent 
moon as her diadem, 3 eyes, red clothes, various beautiful gems, large rising 
swelling breasts, seated on a corpse, with a garland of skulls, holds a noose and 
goad and grants boons and dispels fear. 

2) Kamaleshvari Bhairavi. Mantra: Sahraim Sahakalahrim Sahraum. 
Description as (1) above. 

3) Siddha Kaulesha Bhairavi. Mantra: Hasraim Hasrim Hasrauh. She is a 
Kumari, effulgent as 1000 rising suns, with 3 eyes, Moon as her diadem, slender 


waisted, large buttocks, wearing large Jewels, adorned with red, wanton, 
youthful, proud, large high swelling breasts, wears a garland of skulls, 
beautifully bejewelled, holds a book and dispels fear with her left hands, in her 
right she holds a rosary and grants boons. She sits on a corpse. 

4) Damara Bhairavi. Mantra: Hashaim Haklim Hasauh. Like a Bandhuka 
flower, seated on 5 skulls, the Moon is the peak of her beautifully gemmed 
diadem, wears a garland of skulls, has 3 eyes, red clothes, large rising swelling 
breasts, holds book, rosary, gives boons, dispels fears. 

5) Kamini Bhairavi. Mantra: Hasaim Ha Sa Klim Hasauh. She wears red jewels 
and ornaments. Holds a noose, a goad, grants boons and dispels fears, sits on a 
corpse, she is garlanded with skulls. 

Great Upper Direction 

1) Sundari. Mantra: Haim Ha Ka La Hrim Hasauh 

2) Sundari. Mantra: A Ha Saim Ah A Sim A Hasauh 

3) Sundari. Mantra: Aim Ha Sa E Ha Sa Ha Shaim Ha Ha Ha Ka La Hrim Ha 
Ha Ha Harauh 

4) Sundari. Mantra: Ka La Sa Sa Sa Sa Haim Ka La Ha Ha Sa Sa Sa Ha Haim 
Ka La Ha Ha Sa Sa Sa Hrim 

5) Sundari. Mantra: Ha Sa La Ksha Sa Ha Sa Hauh Sa Ha Ha Sa La Kshah 
Saim Ha Sa Ha Sa La Ksha Ha Sim 

This concludes the description of the Red Yoginis who dwell in the five 
directions around Devi Lalita in Her palace of gems. The bija mantras, of tongue 
twisting perplexity have an inner logic related to the root mantra. 

The Shri Vidya Ratna Sutras shows that Devi Lalita outrays thousands upon 
millions of rays which are each Devis of a certain colour. The 15 Goddesses 
above are important in the overall scheme, and mentioned in such works as 
Dakshinamurti Samhita and Jnanarnava Tantra — both important tantras of the 
Shri Vidya path. 

A few of the mantras are Sanskrit words interspersed with bija — for example 
South 3 — Speak! Speak! Giver of Speech! Hasaim. Moisten! O Moistener! 
Cause Great Agitation [ Cause Great Agitation! Hasrim. Om Give, Give 
Liberation! Hasauh. 


The Philosophy of Tripura Tantra 

Proportionately slight effort is enough for erasing slight vasanas. He whose 
mind has been made pure by good deeds in successive past incarnations, gains 
supreme results quite out of proportion to the little effort he may make - Tripura 
Rahasya, XIX, 65-66, Ramanashram edition 

This is another article from the Sarasvati Bhavana Studies series, written by the 
eminent tantrik scholar Gopinath Kaviraj, which is out of copyright. Here, he 
deals with the Tripurarahasya, and more especially with the 36 tattvas of the 
Kaula Shri Vidya and Trika systems. Words which were in Sanskrit in the 
original have been put into iTrans format. 

The Tripurarahasya exists in several English translations. 

The Philosophy of Tripura Tantra 

By Gopinath Kaviraj 

It is a truism that every system of theocratic culture in India has behind it a 
consistently evolved system of philosophic thought. It is difficult, in the present 
state of our knowledge, to give a definite idea of the number of such systems in 
ancient and mediaeval times and even of the extent of literature comprised under 
each. Continued progress in researches in this field is likely to yield fresh 
materials favourable to the better understanding of the true history and 
philosophic value of these systems. The work known under the name of 
"Tripurarahasya" (Jnana Khanda) forms indeed a highly important document in 
the history of Indian Philosophy, so far as the system of a section of the Sakta 
Tantra is concerned, and should be appreciated from that point of view. 

The systematisation of Tantric Philosophy, on its Sakta side, does not, seem to 
have yet been seriously attempted. The Sarva Darsana Sangraha of 
Madhavacharya ignores the Sakta School altogether. So do the other compendia, 
earlier and later, (e.g. Saddarsana Samuchchaya of Haribhadra, Sarvasiddhanta 
Sangraha of Sankaracharya etc.). There are different lines of Sakta culture still 
in existence and we have reason to believe that some at least of these have 
preserved the philosophical tradition. The literature associated with the third 
Mahavidya, named Sodasi or Tripura Sundari is very extensive and presents 
several interesting feature of Tantrik literature. It is possible to construct a 
regular philosophy of the school out of the materials available to us and in this 
work of reconstruction the present treatise will, it is hoped, prove to be 
substantially helpful. 


The Tripurarahasya, which claims to treat of the secrets of the Tripura Culture in 
all its aspects, is said to consist of three sections - viz. Mahatmya, Jnana and 
Charya. The Jnana Khanda has been published at Benares in a new edition 1 . The 
Mahatmya Khanda, of which (as of the Jnana Khanda) we have an original 
manuscript in the Government Sanskrit College, Benares, was entrusted for 
publication to the publishers of the Chowkhambha Sanskrit Series, Benares. The 
third section is apparently lost, no trace of it having yet been found. It is an 
extensive work of which the first two sections contain 2163 and 6687 verses. 

The work is attributed to one Haritayana and the commentary called 
Tatparyadipika is from the pen of one Dravida Sri Nivasa, son of Vaidyanatha 
Diksita, resident of the village of Mahapuskara in the Dravida country. The 
commentary was composed in 4932 Kali Era (1831 A. D.). The text is in 22 

The book is in the form of a discourse delivered by Haritayana to Narada. This 
discourse professes to be a reproduction of the teachings of Dattatreya to 
Parasurama and claims to be based on personal realisation and reason. 

The plan of the work may be thus summed up. Parasurama having heard 
Dattatreya's lectures on the greatness of the Supreme Deity Tripura Sundari as 
embodied in the Mahatmya Khanda expressed a desire to the Master to be 
enlightened on the methods of worship for propitiating the Goddess. He was 
subsequently initiated in due form into the mysteries of Tripura worship and 
practiced penances for 12 years, under instructions from his tutor, at a hermitage 
on the Mahendra Hill in the South. In the course of his spiritual exercises the 
ultimate problems of life and reality began to trouble his mind, and being unable 
to reach a solution himself be betook himself to the feet of his Guru for light and 
guidance. He has already heard a teaching on the subject from Samvarta, the 
great Avadhuta, on his discomfiture by Rama Chandra in the Treta age, but he 
had not been able to realise it at the time. He requested the master to explain to 
him the secrets of Samvarta's lessons, so that his doubts might be dispelled for 
ever. Dattatreya's response to Parasurama's question, interspersed with 
Parasurama's cross-questions here and there, constitutes the body of the Jnana 
Khanda. It would thus appear that the text of the Tripura Rahasya, which 
embodies the teachings of Haritayana to Narada, represents an old traditional 
lore of secret science originally revealed by Samvarta and subsequently 
expounded by Dattatreya to Parasurama. 

The name Parasurama stands eminent among the votaries of Tripura. The Kalpa 
Sutra, treating of the secrets of the Tripura worship in ten Khandas and 
containing 335 Sutras, is attributed to Parasurama who is described as a scion of 


the family of Bhrgu, a disciple of Shiva and the son of Jamadagni and Renuka. 
This description of Parasurama implies that the Parasurama of the Tripura 
Rahasya is believed to be identical with the author of the Kalpa Sutras, though 
Pandit A. Mahadeva Sastri has, perhaps rightly questioned this identity 2 . The 
tradition has it that Dattatreya was the author of a Samhita work in 1 8000 verses 
which was known under his own name (viz. Datta Samhita). Parasurama studied 
the extensive work and, to bring its contents within easy reach of students, 
summarised it in a body of Sutras distributed into 50 sections (Khandas). This 
contained 6000 Sutras, The Samhita and the Sutra were both summed up, in the 
form of a dialogue between Dattatreya and Parasurama, by Sumedha (pupil of 
Parasurama). This tradition is found recorded in the Tripurarahasya, Mahatmya 

It is evident that the work of Sumedha, who was of the Harita family and 
consequently known as Haritayana, is really to be identified with the 
Tripurarahasya itself rather than with the Kalpasutras of Parasurama as 
Laksmana Ranade has done 3 , because the Parasurama Kalpa Sutra is not in the 
shape of a dialogue between Datta and Parasurama and is not attributed to 
Sumedha, whereas the Tripurarahasya has the form of a similar dialogue) 4 and is 
ascribed to Sumedha Haritayana. 

The line of Tripura worship is represented by several teachers. We have already 
referred to Dattatreya, and Parasurama. The names of Durvasas, Agastya, 
Lopamudra and several others may be added in this connection. Durvasas is 
associated with the authorship of a mahimnaH stotra of the Goddess, where he is 
described in the colophon as sakalAgamAchArya. Nityananda, who wrote a 
commentary on the above Stotra, says that Durvasas inter alia, Krodha 
Bhattaraka is really identical with Siva Himself, who is the Master of the 
teachers of all the Agamas (sakalAgamAchAryachakravatl.m), as born from the 
womb of Anurapa. 

The Supreme Goddess is variously named - as Tripura, Sundari Lalita, Sodasi, 
Sri Vidya, Kamesvari, etc. She is called Tripura, in as much as Her Body 
consists of three Saktis, viz. Brahma, Vaisnavi and Raudri. 5 The Tripurarahasya 
speaks of Her in the following terms: 

tripurAnantashaktyaikyarUpiNI sarvasAxiNI . 

sA chitiH sarvataH pUrNA parichChedavivarjanAt.h .. 

The partial appearance of the Self as thus occurring is known as 
bAhyAvabhAsa, because such appearance implies the manifestation of what 
may be described as empty space which is other than the Self. Remembering 


that Chaitanya is all-embracing and can have nothing outside it - for if there 
were any such thing it would not shine out and would therefore be non-existent - 
what is popularly called the external is indeed only a reflection on Chaitanya as 
on a mirror. When the universe comes into being it does so as only an image 
within the unique Self. The universe as such is varied but underlying it is the 
pure and simple unity of Chaitanya revealing itself to the eye of diligent search 
(anusandhAna). The manifestation of the universe, due to the Free Will 
(svAtantrya) of the Absolute, is thus a process of Abhasa, - and for the initiation 
of this process nothing beyond the play of the Will is needed. The material and 
efficient causes, supposed to be necessary for every product, are held 

The peculiar metaphysical position of the Tantra consists in the theory of 
Abhasa, which is consistent with this position. It rejects the Vivartavada of Neo- 
Vedanta, because the world is not originally a false appearance due to Error. It is 
real in the same way as an image is real, but it has no existence apart from the 
medium in which it is manifested. Its existence is only the existence of the 
medium. To the Vedantist the world appears as such to the ignorant owing to his 
ignorance and in the last analysis it is resolved into Maya which is not identical 
with Brahman and is material; but to a Tantrist the world is real and is 
expression of the Chit Sakti or Free Will of the Lord and is really spiritual in 
essence like the Lord Himself. In the last resort it turns back into the Chit Sakti 
which is never withdrawn, for the Will (svAtantrya) remains, even after the 
world has disappeared. The Vedanta system has had to fall back on the doctrine 
of Vivarta, because it denies in a sense svAtantrya to Pure Chaitanya. The first 
stadium of creation is thus an Abhasa. The second stage which represents the 
subsequent condition shows how the Chit Sakti, already appearing 
(AbhAsamAna) in the Pure Chaitanya, further progresses. Maya emerges on the 
scene now and the Vivarta is the logical outcome. The third stage marks how 
Maya becomes productive. This is the Parinama or Evolution which gets on till 
the bhutas spring into manifestation. The fourth stage which represents creation 
out of the bhutas is known as Arambha or physico-chemical process of genesis. 
From the supreme stand-point of Tantra, however, the entire Creation is an 

As thus realised She is the Eternal and supreme Truth beyond all limitations 
consequent on time and place. She is the essence of Chaitanya and is called 
Lalita owing to Her transcendent charms. The Sakti Sangama Tantra observes 
that it is this Lalita which assumes the form of Krsna as Purusa. 6 

Sundari is one of the ten Mahavidyas (Mundamala Tantra, Patala 1). It is said 
(Ibid) that the ten Vidyas combined form a Mahavidya, but Sodasi is a 


Mahavidya by Herself. The Todala Tantra (Patala 1) calls Maha Tripura Sundari 
by the name of Panchami with Siva (five-faced) as Her Bhairava. The Sakti 
Sangama however (Purascharyarnava, pp 13-14) makes Lalitesvara Her 
Bhairava. This is different from Tripura Bhairava (or Vikarala, the companion 
of Chhinna) and Ghora Bhairava (i. e. Kala Bhairava, the companion of 

The system teaches that the Supreme Reality is of the nature of Pure 
Intelligence, which is self-luminous and unaffected by the limitations of time, 
space and causality. It has absolute freedom (pUrNa svAtantrya) in as much as 
its Power or Will (sa.mkalpa) is unrestricted. This Power is really identical with 
the Essence of Chaitanya and remains either involved in it or expresses itself as 
its inalienable property. In the technical phraseology of the Shastra it is known 
as Vimarsa or Krpa, and is an eternal attribute of Chaitanya. The freedom 
referred to above implies that the Essence of Consciousness is free from 
vikalpas and is fundamentally distinct from matter. The Chaitanya is free, as it 
does not depend on anything else for its own revelation of matter. 

The Power exists in a two-fold condition. What is generally known as creation 
or dissolution is in reality consequent on the manifestation of this Power or on 
its abeyance. It always functions, but its function is sometimes (e. g. during the 
creative period) expressed as the manifestation of the Universe till now absorbed 
in and identified with the Essence of Reality and at other times expressed as 
self-manifestation alone. 

The Supreme Reality of the Agamas would thus seem to differ in a sense from 
the Brahman of Vedanta. Though both are essentially of the nature of 
Intelligence there is a fundamental distinction between the two. The Absolute of 
the Tantra is endowed with Power which is held to be identical with Itself and 
by virtue of which It is described as the Free Agent (svatantrakarttA). Freedom 
to act forms the essence of Chaitanya. In other words, according to the Tantric 
viewpoint, Siva and Sakti are aspects of one and the same Reality. But in the 
current non-dualistic school of Vedanta Brahman, which as in this Tantra is 
described as of the nature of Pure Consciousness, is no better than an action-less 
Locus (adhikaraNa), on which the Power, which is attached to It mysteriously 
and is neither identical with nor distinct from It, plays. It is conceived as a Pitha 
or passive background in relation to the active power operating on It. The Sakti, 
called Maya in the Vedanta School, is not thus of the nature of Brahman but is 
material (anirvachanlya), though it is held to be, of course mysteriously, 
subservient to it. But as conceived in the Tantra Sakti or Pure Freedom is 
absolutely non-material. The term Chit Sakti used to denote this power implies 
its spiritual essence. 


What in the Tantras is known as vAhyAbhAsa or the manifestation of a non-ego 
(anahambhAva) within the Pure Ego (shuddhAtma) but appearing as external to 
it is tha Radical Nescience (mUlavidyA) of Vedanta. This non-ego is the so 
called Avyakta (Unmanifest) or Jada Sakti (Matter). But the Freedom or the 
Spiritual Power (Chit Sakti) of the Lord, as described in the Tantras, is beyond 
the Nescience referred to above, and to this Power the Advaita Vedanta seems to 
be a stranger. 

In as much as the Avidya itself or the Material Power is a product of the 
Spiritual Power which is the ultimate source of all existence there is no 
discrepancy in the statement, often found in Tantric Literature, that this Power 
has three distinct states of its existence: - 

(a) During the universal dissolution when the Self is free from all vikalpas the 
Sakti exists as Pure Chit Sakti or Chit Prakrti. 

(b) When the vikalpas are on the point of merging - when though there is no 
vikalpa as such there is yet a tendency in the direction of vikalpas - the Sakti is 
called Maya Sakti or Jada Prakrti. 

(c) But when the vikalpas are fully developed and materiality becomes dense the 
Sakti appears as Avidya. 

It has already been observed that the appearance of the universe follows upon 
the self-expression of the Divine Power and the Cosmic End follows from the 
withdrawal of the self-same Power. 

After the period of Cosmic Night is over the Will of the Lord, in co-operation 
with the mature adrsta of Jivas, manifests only partially, as it were, the Essence 
of the Self, whereby the Self is revealed as limited. 

The appearance of limitation is thus the emergence of not-self, known as Avidya 
or Jada Sakti, called also by the name of Void (shUnya), or Prakriti or Absolute 
Negation or Darkness (tamaH) or Akasa. This is the first stage in the order of 
creation and represents the first limitation imposed on the Limitless. The 
erroneous belief, generated through the Freedom of the Lord - the Self - that the 
Ego is partial (ekadeshika) and not full and universal (pUrNa) is responsible for 
the appearance of this Something which being a portion of the Self is yet outside 
of it and free from self -consciousness and is described as not-self or by any 
other name as shown above. 

Thus the Supreme Reality splits itself spontaneously, as it were, into two 
sections - one appearing as the subject and the other as the object. The 


Purnahanta which is the essence of Supreme Reality disappears after this 
cleavage: the portion to which limited egoism attaches being the subject and the 
other portion free from egoism the object. The object as thus making its 
appearance is the Unmanifest (avyakta) Nature from which the entire Creation 
emanates and which is perceived by the subject as distinct from itself. 

It has been observed that Chaitanya is of the nature of self-luminous Light 
(sphurat.h prakAsha), which may shine on itself (svAtmA), in which case it is 
known as Ahanta, or I-ness may rest on the Non-ego (anAtmA) and express 
itself as Idanta or This-ness. The essence of Chaitanya consists in the fact that 
the light (prakAsha) is always confined to itself. This universal Ego or T stands, 
behind all dualism. The Supreme Ego is universal, as there is nothing to limit 
(parichCheda) or to differentiate (vyAvR A itti) it, and the entire visible universe 
exists in identity with it. But this characteristic by its very nature is absent from 
Matter (jaDa), which is not self-manifest. Just as light and heat co-exist in fire, 
in the same way universal Ahanta and Freedom or Sakti co-exist in Chaitanya. 
This freedom is Maya which though essentially identical with Chaitanya 
(chidekarUpa) brings out varieties of an infinite kind, but in bringing out this 
variety it does not in the least swerve from the Essence. 

The appearance of the Universe in Pure Chaitanya is the action of Avidya, 
which has three distinct stages: 

(a) The first is the germinal state (bljAvasthA), when the material power, which 
is still in its earliest phase of manifestation, is pure. Matter does not assert itself 
at this stage and consequently there is no differentiation in experience. In other 
words, it does not yet appear as distinct from Chaitanya, though potentially it 
exists. This stage is represented by the five pure Tattvas, viz., Siva, Sakti, 
Sadasiva, Suddha vidya and Is vara. 

(i) The Avidya, which has been described above as being the Chaitanya in its 
limited appearance as an object external to the subject is called Siva. In pure 
Chaitanya, owing to the play of Its own Will, an infinite number of limited 
aspects (spA.msha) arises. These are mutually distinct. From this point of view 
to every limited aspect of Chit there is a corresponding object external to it 
(bAhyAbhAsa), but to the Unlimited Chit or Pure Self (pUrNashrAtmA = 
parashiva) there is no externality. The universal (sAmAnya) common to all the 
pure and limited Chit aspects referred to above is called Siva Tattva. This Tattva 
is thus a Samanya holding within it all the Visesas, but Para Siva or Pure Self is 
transcendent and above both Samanya and Visesa. Hence Siva Tattva may be 
more properly described as Pure Chaitanya in its general but conditioned form, 
free from all Vikalpas and is to be distinguished from the Absolute proper. 


(ii) The appearance of Siva (parichChinna nirvikalpachit.h) as aham.h is called 
Sakti. Although this self-presentative character (aha.mbhAsana) is in the essence 
of Chit, so that there can be in fact no differentiation between Siva and Sakti as 
such, the Chit is nevertheless known as Siva in so far as it is free from all visesas 
and as Sakti by virtue of its characteristic self-awareness (aha.mbhAsana). 

When the self-presentation (aha.mbhAsana) is no longer confined to the Self but 
is extended to the not-self or the object (mahAshUnya) external to the Self it is 
known as Sadasiva. This state marks the identification of the Self with the not- 
self in the form "ahameva idam.h" and indicates predominance of spirit over 

(iv) But when matter prevails and the consciousness assumes the form "idam.h 
aham.h" the state is technically called Isvara. 

(v) The term Suddha Vidya is reserved for the state which represents an equality 
in the presentation of the subjective and objective elements in consciousness. 

(b) The second stage in the evolution of Avidya, described as a~nkurAvasthA, 
represents a further development of difference or materiality, when the subtle 
products of matter and spirit make their appearance. In this mixed condition 
both spirit and matter are equally predominant and the seven mixed (mishra) 
tattvas, viz, Maya, Kala, Vidya, Raga, Kala and Niyati reveal themselves. 

(i) The confirmation of difference due to the Free Will of the Supreme, which 
characterises the second stage, has the effect of reversing the normal relation 
between spirit and matter. Thus while in the first stage described above Spirit or 
Chit Sakti dominates matter or Jada Sakti which exists in a rudimentary state, 
merged in spirit or Self, the second stage shows the preponderance of matter 
over spirit. Consciousness loses its supremacy and becomes a quality inherent in 
the material subject. All this is due to the emergence and development of 
bhedasa.mkalpa in Chaitanya. This material subject - which is matter prevailing 
over spirit and related to it as a substance to its quality - is called Maya. 

(ii-vi) The five aspects of Maya are the five so-called Kanchukas which are the 
five eternal Saktis of Para Siva in a limited form. The obscuring power of Maya 
acts is a veil as it were upon the Omnipotence, Omniscience, Self-contentment, 
Eternity and Freedom of the Supreme Self and thus acting is known as Kala, 
Vidya, Raga, Kala and Niyati respectively. 

(vii) The Pure Self as obscured by Maya and its fivefold activities appears as 
Purusha with its limitations of action, knowledge, contentment, eternity and 


(c) The third or grossest stage in the evolution of Avidya is represented by the 
dense products of the mixed tattvas, where matter is overwhelmingly strong. 
This stands for the group of the twenty four tattvas, from the Primary Prakriti 
down to Prithivi, constituting the material order. 

Prakriti, with which the lower creation begins, is indeed the assemblage 
(samaShTi) of the Vasanas of all persons with various and beginningless 
Karmans: it may be fitly described as the body of the Karman Samskaras of the 
Jivas, considered as inhering in Chit Sakti or Self. This Karma vasana or Prakriti 
is threefold according as the experience which is the moral outcome of this 
vasana is pleasant or painful or of the nature of a comatose condition in which 
neither pleasure nor pain is felt. 

The Vasanas exist in a twofold condition, as Avyakta when they lie unmanifest 
in dreamless sleep or as Chitta when they manifest themselves in dreams and 
wakeful states. In the dreamless state there can be no experience of pleasure and 
pain, because the mature Karmans having been worked off through experience 
the others which are not yet ripe are not ready for fructification. It is a fact that 
Karmans, when they are matured by time, cause the Jnana Sakti of the 
Conscious Self to move outwards and have contact with the objective world. In 
a state of sleep such movement is naturally absent. But the process of time 
during which the sleep continues acts on the Karmans and matures some of 
them, so that the Jnana Sakti is allowed to come in touch with the external 
objects or with their eemblances and sleep is over. The Sakti as thus qualified by 
the body of Karma- Vasanas leading to contact with the objects and consequent 
enjoyment (bhoga) is known as Chitta. 

The Chitta differs according to the difference of Purusa but it is one with Prakriti 
in dreamless sleep. Thus the Chitta may be viewed as Purusha or as Prakriti 
according as the conscious (chiti) or unconscious (avyakta) element prevails in 
it. It is not therefore a distinct category, but falls either under Purusa or under 


1. This section was originally published in open leaves. But the edition became 
scarce and the growing interest in Indian philosophical thought rendered a 
republication of the text necessary. 

2. Preface to the edition of the Kalpasutras of Parasurama as published in the 
Gaekwad's Oriental Series, No. 22, in 1923 (P. VIII). 

3. Preface to Parasurama Kalpasutras, P. X. 

4. P. Laksmana was well aware of the weakness of his arguments, for he admits 


that the Kalpa Sutras is not in a dialogue form. He adds however that the 
concluding passage of the work shows that it is a dialogue between the Master 
and his pupil (Ibid.) (P.X). But it must be pointed out that there appears to be 
nothing in the text of the Sutras to warrant this inference, 
iha khalu sakalAgamAchArya kravartl.m sAxAt.h shiva eva . 
anurUpAgarbhasambhUtaH krodhabhaTTArakAkhadurvAsA mahAmuniH, etc. 

5. See Puraischaryarnava, Sundarl Stava P. 20). 
kadAchidAdyA lalitA pu.mrUpA kR A iShNagrahA . etc. 

6. This is the view of the Sakti Sangama Tantra. But in the Vaisnavism 
associated with the name of Sri Chaitanya, Lalita is represented, not as identical 
with Krsna - which position is reserved for Radha -but as a Sakti, whose 
function is to preside over Nikunja, where the eternal sport of the Divine Couple 
takes place and from where all are shut out. Cf. Radhatattvasudhanidhi for 
further particulars. 

7. It should always be borne in mind that the Absolute suffers no change, not 
even when through its power it assumes limitation. It remains always pure and 
undivided, although to those whose vision is dimmed it appears as multiple. 


Rajarajeshvari Kavacha 

Shiva's sun mandala, having opened, melts the moon mandala, causing a flow of 
birth-nectar-liquor which is blissful and gladdening. Having abandoned her 
family of young Kula women, she becomes Shiva, with no qualities, no 
characteristics, devoid of the form of time - Vamakeshvarimatam IV, 13-14 

The word Rajarajeshvari means "the lady queen of queens", the empress, and 
this kavacha or armour appears in the fine Tripura tantra, Gandharvatantra. The 
devotee or sadhaka can write or utter the armour, all the while visualising 
mantra, devata, and in this case yantra on her or his body. Here, the entire 
armour focuses on the symbolism of Shri Shri Mahatripurasundari, the Empress, 
queen of queens, and her attendants in the chakra called Shri Yantra. Our notes 
are in square brackets. 


The Rishi of the Rajarajeshvari Armour is Shiva, the metre Virat, and the devata 
Mahatripurasundari. Hamsah is the Shakti, Para the Bija, and Shrim the 
linchpin. Its application is Dharma, Artha, Karma and Moksha. 

May Tripura in three ways protect me, and give all success. May Bala, in the 
mouth, with Aim Klim Sauh, protect and give all success. The auspicious holy 
great Devi Tripurabhairavi must protect with Hsasrahn Ha Sa Ka La Hrim 
Hasrauh in the throat. May the great Lady Mahatripurasundari shield in the 

May the Rajarajeshvari Vidya, Shodasi, who confers great good fortune, may 
She always protect me in the Brahmarandhra, O Kamala Parameshvari! May the 
Devi who is the daughter of the Lord of the Mountain always protect on the 

May the Kama Bija [Klim] shield on the forehead! Let the Vag Bija [Aim] 
shield on the throat! Let Sauh protect me in the ribs and Om on the shoulders! 

The beloved of Shambhu must always protect my right and left arms. May the 
beloved of Vishnu always protect in the wrists. May Parvati protect the hands! 
Let the beloved of the Sidereal Constellations protect in the eye! May the 
beloved of Rati protect in the ear, and let Shakra shield the nose! May Parvati 
Parameshvari always protect the back. 

Hsauh in exhalation and inhalation must protect, O Supreme Giver of Siddhi! 
Kama must always protect in sexual love. May Pinaki protect in the region of 
the penis. Prithivi must entirely protect! Let Hrim be a shield of the heart! 


May the beloved of Vishnu protect in the breasts, belly, and in front of the heart. 
Let Vajradara protect in the eye, and let Maya shield the abdomen. May Sauh 
protect the feet, and let Aim shield the restless tongue. The syllable Klim must 
protect the region of the teeth, O Boon Giver! 

May Bhuvaneshvari extend from the head to the feet, and be in all the limbs! 
May the Supreme Goddess, beloved of Hari, always protect with armour against 
loss and destitution. In the adhara, the Vagbija must protect! Dear One, the 
Kamaraja must shield the heart region. Parvati, the Shakti part must protect in 
the brow-centre ! 

On the head the Trikuta must protect, with all mantra, on the forehead. May the 
28 letters always protect the circle of the face ! 

(The Fifteen Nityas) 

May Kameshvari shield in the forehead, and Bhagamalini in the face. Let 
Nityaklinna, the Conferrer of Great Good Fortune, forever protect the right eye. 
Let Bherunda shield the left eye, and Vahnivasini the right ear. May the 
transcendent Vajreshvari protect in the region of the left ear. May the Supreme 
Goddess Shivaduti protect the right nostril. Let Tvarita, the all Success 
Bestower, protect the left nostril. May Kulasundari always and forever protect 
my right cheek. Trailokyavimala must protect the region of my left cheek. 
Nilapataka, shield my upper lip. Vijaya, shield my lower lip. Devi 
Sarvamangala, always protect my upper teeth. Jvalamalini, always shield my 
lower teeth. Everywhere, in the head, Vichitra protect. The base, the most 
important thing, the Mahatripurasundari, She who is the Shodashi, may She 
always protect my face ! 

The different Gurus must always protect the back. 

(Nine Chakreshvaris - forms of Tripura ruling the nine mandalas) 

O Parameshvari, may Tripura always protect my feet. May Tripureshvari always 
protect my knees. Tripurasundari Devi must always protect my thighs. 
Tripuravasini Devi must always shield my hips! Let Tripurashri always shield 
my genitals. The Devi Tripuramalini must always shield the Muladhara. Let 
Tripurasiddha shield my navel, and Tripuramba shield my heart ! 
Mahatripurasundari must always protect me in the 1000 petal lotus. 

(Male Lords of Chakras - matching forms of Chakreshvaris) 

In the midst of the heretical host, may Buddha encompass and protect me! Let 
Brahma shield the Brahmanda (macrocosm) and may Shiva protect my Yoga 


Power! Let the Sun protect me in Knowledge, and may Lord Narayana protect 
me in Liberation! 

(Outer Line of Shri Yantra) 

Anima must protect in the West, Laghima in the North. Mahima must protect in 
the East, Ishitva must protect in the South. May Vashita protect in the North 
West, and in the North East Prakamya, the giver of siddhi. Bhuktisiddhi in the 
South East, and Icchasiddhi in the South West must protect. Praptasiddhi must 
protect below, and Mokshasiddhi on high! 

(Middle Line) 

Brahmani must protect the twilight. Maheshvari must shield the day. Kaumari 
must protect at noon! Indrani must protect at night! Vaishnavi, who gives all 
siddhi, must protect me in the Brahma Muhurta! At midnight Varahi must 
protect! Let Chamunda protect in hostile invasion! Mahalaksmi, in great power, 
must always protect ! 

(Inner Line) 

Sankshobhini must protect on the head. Dravini must protect in the heart. 
Akarshini in the peak, and Vashyada in the armour must protect. Unmadini in 
the eye, and Mahankusha in all my body must protect. Trikhanda, protect my 
arms. Bija must protect the seed. Khechara must protect the feet, and Yoni 
Mudra on all sides ! 

(Sixteen Petals) 

Let the Kamakarshana form always shield works of sexual attraction. Let the 
BuddhyakarshaUa shield me in the great place of Buddhi Akarshana. Let the 
Ahamkara Vikarshani always protect in the Ahamkara. Let the Shabdakarshana 
form shield the actions of the Shabda. May the Sparsha Karshana form always 
protect me in matters of touch. Let the Rupa Karshana form always shield the 
great Rupavikarshana! O Parameshvari, may the Rasakarshana shield in taste! 
Let the Gandhakarshana form always protect me in smell! May the 
Chittakarshana form protect me in attraction. Let the Dhairya Karshana form 
protect in steadiness always! Let the Smritya Karshana form shield works of 
Knowledge and Attraction. Let the Namkarshana form shield uttering of names 
always! May the Bija Karshmia form protect me in the sprouting of seed. Let the 
Atma Karshana form protect in Para Jiva Karshana! Let Amrita Karshini protect 
always in works of Nectar (Amrita). Let Sharira Karshini always protect in 
bodily protection ! 


(Eight Petals) 

Anangakusuma must protect protect in all work in front of me. Anangamekhala 
must protect behind. On the left, Anangamadana must protect me. 
Anangamadanatura must protect me on the right. Let Anangarekha always, and 
forever, shield me above. Anangavegini must protect me below. Let 
Anangankusha always protect me in the directions! Anangamalini must protect 
always in the intermediate points. 

(Fourteen Triangles) 

Sarvasangkshobhini must protect me above. Sarvavidravini must protect me 
below. Sarvakarshini must protect me in the directions. Sarvahladakari must 
encircle and protect me in the intermediate points. Sarvasanmohini must protect 
completely. Sarvastambhanakarini must protect me within and without. 
Sarvajrimbhani must always protect me in the heavens. Sarvavashyakari must 
protect me in the underworld. In the world of Gods, Sarvaranjaaakarini must 
always protect me ! Sarvonmadanashmkti must encircle and protect me on earth. 
Sarvarthasadhani Shakti must protect me amongst the host of created beings! 
Sarvasampattipurani must protect in dissolution. Sarvamantramayi must protect 
fran Rakshas and Yakshas in the house! Sarvadvandvakshayamkari must protect 
from Denors in the house ! 

(Outer Ten Triangles) 

Sarvasiddhiprada must always protect me in the king' s palace! 
Sarvasampatprada must protect me in my own home, and give all prosperity! 
Sarvapriyankari must protect in all the worlds everywhere! Sarvamangalakarini 
must shield me in all good actions. Sarvakamaprada Devi must protect me in all 
works everywhere! Sarvaishvaryapradayini must protect me in lordship 
everywhere ! Sarvamrituprashamani must protect me always at my death! Let 
Sarvavighnavasini protect always in all supports! Sarvangasundari must protect 
me in the form of my bodily parts! Let Sarvasaubhagyadayini protect all my 
good parts ! 

(Inner Ten Triangles) 

Sarvajna protect my house! Sarvashaktimaya, protect me in battle! 
Sarvaishvaryaprada must protect me on the road, Sarvajnanamayi on water! 
Sarvavyadhivinashini must protect me from all disease everywhere! 
Sarvadharasvarupini must powerfully protect me on the mountain! 
Sarvapapahara must protect in all works everywhere! Sarvanandakarini Devi 
must protect from random killing in open places. Sarvarakshasvarupini must 
protect from all hostile anxieties! In all determined work, Sarvepsitaphalaprada 
must protect! 


(Eight Triangles) 

Vashini must shield in works of subjugation. Kameshi must shield in works of 
paralysing. Modini must protect in works of delusion. Vimala must shield in 
works of driving away. Aruna must protect in speech, Jayini in matters of 
conversation. Sarveshvari must always protect in sexual acts, Kaulini in acts of 

(The Weapons of Devi) 

O Maheshvari, the five arrows must always protect in blossoming. The bow 
must protect in works of delusion, the noose in acts of subjugation. The greatly 
illustrious goad must protect me in acts of paralysing. 

(The Central Triangle) 

All-Knowledge must protect me in the heart! Satisfaction must guard me in the 
head! The state of being eternally awake must always protect me in the tuft of 
hair! Let Independence shield me in the Armour. May Courage always shield 
me in the eyes. Let the three without form protect and give all siddhi! 
Kameshvari, protect in sexuality! Vajreshvari, protect me in battle! 
Bhagamalini, always protect me in the love-lore of Shri! 

(Bindu ) 

Devi consisting of All Bliss, Mahatripurasundari, protect me in taste, sight, 
smell, sound, and touch! Vatuka, protect in the North East! Numbers of Yoginis, 
protect in the South East! They must protect skin, blood, fat, bone, flesh, 
marrow and semen! Kshetrapala must protect in the South West, and Ganesha in 
the North West of the Temple! 

The Elephant Woman Shoshika must protect me, O Beautiful Lady of the Kulas. 
The Female Dweller in the Muladhara must always protect my Shakti. 


Mahashodha Nyasa 

Thou art the body of Shambhu with two breasts which are the Sun and Moon. 
Oh, Bhagavati, thou art the all pervading stainless one; therefore the connection 
between each, of thee as part and whole is the nature common to both, the same 
lordship and supreme bliss - Wave of Bliss (Woodroffe's translation) 

The Sodha Nyasa (sixfold nyasa), which is part of the daily worship of 
Tripurasundari, is here for the first time translated into English, from the work 
called Nityotsava, itself a commentary on the famous Kalpasutras of 

Parashurama was a brahmana initiated by Lord Dattatreya into the worship of 
Shri Shri Mahatripurasundari Lalita Devi. The Kalpasutras provides a 
compendium for the worship of that Devi. Various forms of nyasa, which means 
'placing', enter into this and all other forms of tantrika puja. The dialogue 
between Parashuram and Dattatreya is contained in the Tripura Rahasya, a 
wonderful work which is available in an English translation published by the Sri 
Ramana Ashram in Tiruvannamalai. 

The Sodha Nyasa in which Devi outspreads as Ganeshas, planets, 27 nakshatras 
(asterisms), yoginis of the seven dhatus or bodily elements of ayurveda, sidereal 
zodiac, and sacred sites (pithas) is described in very many agamas such as 
Vamakeshvara Tantra, Gandharva Tantra, Jnanarnava, The 1,000 Names of 
Lalita, etc.. It is described in detail in the Yogini Hridaya, itself said to form the 
latter part of the Vamakeshvara Tantra. 

The ritual centres the worshipper as one with She whose true nature is Chit or 
Consciousness Shakti. She is triple in Her manifestation as the three gunas — 
represented by Her three Saktis of Iccha (will), Jnana (knowledge), and Kriya 
(action) — and rays out as the 15 Nityas or Eternities who express the phases of 
the Moon or Candrakalas, and form the body of time. 

According to the tradition, Shiva, without characteristics is awareness. And 
Shiva is one with Shakti. Her parts as represented by the Shodha Nyasa amount 
to 156, and comprise all visible manifestation. She is Maya Shakti, the Matrika 
or letters of the alphabet Devi, the heap of words and letters which delude men 
and women, and also those letters transformed by awareness into mantra. 

Her y antra is the Shri Chakra, which contains all letters within its heap of petals, 
lotuses and lines. This yantra, which is a diagrammatic representation of the 
human body, is within the wheel of time. 


Worship via this ritual is intended to assist a sadhvini or sadhaka to realise her 
or his oneness with the Shakti, with the yantra, and with time itself in all its 

Mahashodha Nyasa 

In this wonderful abbreviated six way nyasa, obeisance to Dakshinamurti, the 
Rishi, on the head; to the metre Gayatri in the mouth; to the Devi 
Mahatripurasundari, to Ganeshas, Planets, (27) Sidereal Constellations, Yoginis, 
12 Rashis, the Sacred Sites (pithas) in the heart; obeisance to the application of 
this Shri Vidya limb nyasa, in the palm of the hand. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am Kam Kham Gam Gham Nam Am Aim obeisance to the 

Aim Hrim Shrim Im Cam Cham Jam Jham Nam Im Klim, index fingers 
Aim Hrim Shrim Um Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam Um Sauh, middle fingers 
Aim Hrim Shrim Em Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam Aim Aim, ring fingers 
Aim Hrim Shrim Aum Pam Pham Bam Bham Mam Aum Klim, little fingers 
Aim Hrim Shrim Am Yam Ram Lam Vain Sam Sam Sam Ham Lam Ksham Am 
Sauh, front & back of hand 
(similarly for heart &c. nyasa) 

Meditation: Radiant as 1000 rising suns, with full, magnificent breasts, wearing 
red garlands and clothes, smeared with red unguent, with red gems and red 
ornaments, holding goad, noose, bow and arrows in Her radiant four hands, with 
three beautiful eyes, with a gold ornament on Her head — thus we meditate on 
the Supreme Sundari, consisting of Ganeshas, Planets, (27) Nakshatras, (6) 
Yoginis, (12) Rashis, Pithas, and the letters of the alphabet. 

Thus is declared the collective form of the Shri Devi, together with Her weapons 
and instruments of action. Now meditate on Ganeshas, the first of the individual 

Ganesha Nyasa 

Meditation: resembling the newly risen Sun, with an elephant's face, soft eyes, 
holding goad, noose, and granting boons, with Shakti, of vermilion lustre, 
decorated with all manner of gems. One of (her) hands holds a lotus, the other 
touches (Ganesha's) lingam. His trunk is coiled to the left. When meditating, the 
noose comes first. The Shakti holds a lotus in Her left hand, and Her right hand 
embraces (Ganesha's lingam). 


Having meditated thus, nyasa should be done in the places where the letters of 
the alphabet reside, prefixing each with three syllables thus: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am obeisance to the Lord of Obstacles with Shri. On head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am to the King of Obstacles with Hri. On forehead. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Im to the Guide with Tushti. On right eye. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Im to the Most Auspicious with Shanti. On left eye. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Um to the Heart of Obstacles with Pushti. On right ear. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Um to the Maker of Obstacles with Sarasvati. On left ear. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Rm to the Chief of Obstacles with Rati. Right nostril. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Rm to the Chief of Hosts with Medha. On left nostril. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lm to the One Tusked with Kanti. On right cheek. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lm to the Two Tusked with Kamini. On left cheek. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Em to the Elephant Faced with Mohini. On upper lip. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Aim to the Guileless with Jata. On lower lip. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Om to the One with Hair Twisted like a Cowrie with Tivra. On 

upper teeth. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Aum to the Long Faced with Jvalini. On lower teeth. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am to the One with Pointed Ears with Nanda. On tongue. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ah to the One with Bull as Banner with Surasa. On throat. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kam to the Lord of Numbers with Kamarupini. On right 


Aim Hrim Shrim Kham to Indra's Elephant with Subhra. On right elbow. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Gam to the One with Ears Like Winnowing Baskets with 

Jayini. R. wrist 

Aim Hrim Shrim Gham to the three Eyed One with Satya. Base of right fingers. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Nam to the Pot Bellied One with Vignneshi. On right finger 


Aim Hrim Shrim Cam to the Great Noisy One with Surupa. Left shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Cham to the four Armed Form with Kamada. Left elbow. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Jam to Sadashiva with Madavihvala. Left wrist. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Jham to the Gladdening One with Vikata. Left root of fingers. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Nam to the Ugly Faced with Puma. Left finger tips. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn to the Beautiful Faced One with Bhutida. Right thigh. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tham to the Delightful One with Bhumi. Right knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dam to the One Footed with Shakti. Right ankle. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dham to the Dual Tongued with Rama. Right foot. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Nam to the Hero with Manushi. Right toes. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn to the Warrior with Makaradhvaja. Left thigh. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tham to the Peaceful Faced One with Virini. Left knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dam to the Boon Giver with Bhrukuti. Left ankle. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dham to the Left Hand God with Lajja. Left foot. 


Aim Hrim 

Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
Aim Hrim 
On heart. 

Shrim Nam to the One with Crooked Trunk with Dirghagona. Left 

Shrim Pam to the One with two Tusks with Dhanurdhara. Right side. 

Shrim Pham to the Leader of the Army with Yamini. Left side. 

Shrim Bam to the Village Lord with Ratri. Back. 

Shrim Bham to the Intoxicated One with Chandrika. Navel. 

Shrim Mam to the Clear Headed with Sashiprabha. Belly. 

Shrim Yam to Intoxication's Vehicle with Lola. In heart. 

Shrim Ram to the Ascetic with Chapala. Right collar bone. 

Shrim Lam to the One with Shorn Hair with Riddhi. Shoulder hump. 

Shrim Vam to the One with a Tusk with Durbhaga. Left collar bone. 

Shrim Sham to the Pre-eminent One with Subhaga. Heart to right 

Shrim Sham to the Bull Bannered with Shiva. Heart to left palm. 
Shrim Sam to the Greedy One with Durga. Heart to right foot. 
Shrim Ham to Ganesha with Kali. Heart to left foot. 
Shrim Lam to the One like Thunder with Kalakubjika. Heart to 

Shrim Ksham to the Lord of Obstacles with Destroyer of Obstacles. 

Planet Nyasa 

Meditation: the Sun Etc, in the colours red, white, red, dusky, yellow, pale 
yellow, black, purple, smoky. Of the form of Kamadeva, the Lord of Love, 
ornamented with celestial gems. His left hand rests on his left thigh, and his 
right hand shows the sign of giving. Meditate also on the Shaktis, with their 
hands dispelling fear and granting boons. Each one is highly appealing, and 
decked with every kind of jewel. Having meditated in this way: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am Am Im Im Um Um Rm Rm Lm Lm Em Aim Aum Om 

Am Ah obeisance to the Sun with Ranuka. In heart. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Yam Ram Lam Vam to the Moon with Amrita. Centre of 


Aim Hrim Shrim Kam Kham Gam Gham Nam to Mars, with Dharma. In eyes. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Cam Cham Jam Jham Nam to Mercury, with Yashasvini. Ears. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam to Jupiter, with Shankari. Throat. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam to Venus, with Jnanarupa. In 


Aim Hrim Shrim Pam Pham Bam Bham Main to Saturn, with Shakti. In navel. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sham Sham Sam Ham to Rahu, with Krishna. Mouth. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lam Ksham to Ketu, with Dhumra. Genitals. 


Nakshatra Nyasa 

Meditation: as flame, like the fire of All Destroying Time, their hands dispelling 
fear and granting boons, all ornamented with jewels. Bow to Ashvini first. 
Having meditated thus: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am Am obeisance to Ashvini. Forehead. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Im to Bharani. Right eye. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Im Im Urn to Krittika. Left eye. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Rm Rm Lm Lm to Rohini. Right ear. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Em to Mrigasiras. Left ear. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Aim to Ardra. Right nostril. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Om Aum to Punarvasu. Left nostril. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kam to Pushya. Throat. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kham Gam to Ashlesha. Right shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Gham Nam to Magha. Left shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Cam to Purvaphalguni. Back. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Cham Jam to Uttarphalguni. Right elbow. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Jham Nam to Hasta. Left elbow. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Tham to Chitra. Right wrist. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dam to Svati. Left wrist. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dham Nam to Vishakha. Right hand. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Tham Dam to Anuradha. Left hand. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dham to Jyeshta. Navel. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Nam Pam Pham to Mula. Pelvis. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Bam to Purvashadha. Right thigh. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Bham to Uttarashadha. Left thigh. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Mam to Shravana. Right knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Yam Ram to Dhanishta. Left knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lam to Shatataraka. Right ankle. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Vam Sham to Purvabhadrapada. Left ankle. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sham Sam Ham to Uttara Bhadrapada. Right foot. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lam Ksham Am Ah to Revati. Left foot. 

Yogini Nyasa 

Meditation: In the Vishuddha chakra in the cavity of the throat, in the 16 petal 
lotus, is Dakini, rosy, three-eyed, armed with club, sword, trident and shield, 
with 1 face, striking the ignorant with terror, always fond of milk food, presiding 
over the skin, whose form is surrounded by very beautiful Amrita &c, 
worshipped by auspicious holy heroes. Having meditated thus: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dam Dim Da Ma La Va Ra Yum obeisance to Dakini. 
Aim Hrim Shrim Am Am Im Im Um Um Em Em Lam Lim Em Aim Aum Om 


Am Ah, Being of Skin, protect! protect me! Obeisance to you. 

The nyasa of Dakini should thus be performed in the 16 petals of the Vishuddha 
in the throat, with 16 golden letters. On the eastern petal first, meditate in 
clockwise order on the attendant Shaktis thus: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am obeisance to Amrita; Am to Akarshini; Im to Indrani; Im 
to Ishani; Um to Uma; Um to Urdhvakeshi; Em to Riddhida; Em to Rikara; Lm 
to Likara; Lm to Likara; Em to Ekapada; Aim to Aishvaryatmika; Om to 
Omkara; Aum to Aushadhi; Am to Ambika; Ah obeisance to Akshara. 

Meditation: in the heart, in the 12 petal Sun lotus, meditate on Rakini with 
Kalaratri etc. as attendants, as having two faces, fanged, black in colour, holding 
rosary, trident, skull cup and damaru, three eyed, who presides over Blood, who 
likes greasy food, worshipped by auspicious holy heroes, who gives freedom 
from fear. Thus having meditated: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ram Rim Ra Ma La Va Ra Yum obeisance to Rakini. Aim 
Hrim Shrim Kam Kham Gam Gham Nam Cham Ccham Jam Jham Nam Tarn 
Tham, Being of Blood, protect! protect me! Obeisance to you. 

In the Anahata, the twelve petal lotus, the golden lotus blossom of the day, one 
should do Rakini nyasa in the petals starting from the east, and going clockwise 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kam obeisance to Kalaratri; Kham to Khandita; Gam to 
Gayatri; Gham to Ghantakarshini; Nam to Narna; Cham to Chanda; Ccham to 
Chaya; Jam to Jaya; Jham to Jhahkarini; Nam to Jnanarupa; Tarn to Tankahasta; 
Tham to Thankarini obeisance. 

Meditation: meditate on Lakini in the 10 petal navel lotus, as having three 
faces, fanged, of red colour, holding dart, thunderbolt, club and the (mudra) 
banishing fear, very terrific, inspiring terror, the Flesh devata, liking 
sweetmeats, bestowing all happiness, attended by Damari and others. Thus 
having meditated: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lam Lim La Ma La Va Ra Yum obeisance to Lakini. Aim 
Hrim Shrim Dam Dham Nam Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam Pam Pham, Being 
of Flesh, protect! protect me! 

Thus one should do Lakini nyasa in the golden-red coloured Manipura lotus of 
10 petals, and then one should place Her surrounding attendants in the various 
petals from the east direction: 


Aim Hrim Shrim Dam obeisance to Damari; Dham to Dhamkarini; Nam to 
Narna; Tarn to Tamasi; Tham to Sthani; Dam to Dakshaya; Dham to Dhatri; 
Nam to Nari; Pam to Parvati; Pham to Phatkarini. 

Meditation: meditate in the six petal Svadishtana lotus on Kakini, with four 
faces, three eyes, holding trident, noose, skull, and the mudra banishing fear, 
ever proud, presiding over Fat, fond of mead, yellow, fond of food mixed with 
curd, giving desired objects, with Bandhini &c. as attendants. Thus having 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kam Kim Ka Ma La Va Ra Yum obeisance to Kakini. Aim 
Hrim Shrim Bam Bham Mam Yam Ram Lam, Being of Fat, protect! protect 
me! Obeisance to yon. 

In the petals of the Svadishtana lotus, of six petals, golden in colour, in the 
genitals, the abode of Kakini, one should place Her retinue of Shaktis, in the east 
petal first: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Barn obeisance to Bandhini; Bham to Bhadrakali; Mam to 
Mahamya; Yam to Yashasvini; Ram to Rakta; Lam to Lamboshti obeisance. 

Meditation: meditate on Sakini, in the four petal Muladhara lotus, as having five 
faces, three eyes, of smoky colour, presiding over Bone, holding elephant hook, 
lotus, book, knowledge mudra, liking mudga beans, intoxicated with liquor, 
attended by the soft Varada etc. Thus having meditated: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sham Shim Sa Ma La Va Ra Yum obeisance to Sakini. Vam 
Sham Sham Sam, Being of Bone, protect! protect me! Obeisance to you. 

In the abode of Sakini, the golden petal Muladhara lotus, one should place Her 
attendants in the petals, from the East first: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Vam obeisance to Varada; Sham to Shri; Sham to Shanda; 
Sam obeisance to Sarasvati. 

Meditation: meditate on Hakini, between the eyebrows, in the two petal bindu 
lotus, as of white colour, showing the Knowledge mudra, holding damaru, lotus, 
rudraksha rosary, skull; abiding in the Marrow, with six faces and three eyes, 
with Hamsavati &c. as attendants, liking saffron flavoured food, doing good to 
all. Thus having meditated: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ham Him Ha Ma La Va Ra Yum obeisance to Hakini. Aim 
Hrim Shrim Ham Ksham, Being of Marrow, protect! protect me! Obeisance to 



In Hakini's place, the two petal Ajna lotus in the middle of the forehead, in the 
right and left petals: Aim Hrim Shrim obeisance to Hamsavati; Ksham 
obeisance to Kshamavati. One should place these two Shaktis and then: 

Meditation: Meditate on the auspicious Devi Yakini, residing in the Moon in 
the pericarp of the 1000 petal lotus in the Brahma Randhra, the presiding devata 
of Semen, armed with every kind of weapon, with faces on every side, with a 
host of Shaktis from A to Ksha as attendants, 1000 in number, Amrita first, 
Kshamavati last, the first of these in the eastern direction, liking every kind of 
food, devoted to Para Shiva. Having meditated thus: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Yam Yim Ya Ma La Va Ra Yum obeisance to Yakini. Aim 
Hrim Shrim A to Ksha (51), Being of Semen, protect! protect me! Obeisance 
to you. 

In the 1000 petals one should place Her attendants 1000 in number, Amrita first 
and Kshamavati last. 

Rashi Nyasa 

Red, white, yellowish white, variegated, black, orange, brown, russet, purple, 
black and smoky is the order they should be remembered in. Having meditated 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am Am Im Im obeisance to Aries. Right foot. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Um Um to Taurus. Right of penis. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Rm Rm Lm Lm to Gemini. Right of belly. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Em Aim to Cancer. Right of heart. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Om Aum to Leo. Right shoulder joint. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am Ah Shhm Sham Sam Ham Lam to Virgo. Right of head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kam Kham Gam Gham Nam to Libra. Left of head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Cham Ccham Jam Jham Nam to Scorpio. Left shoulder joint. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam to Sagittarius. Left of heart. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam to Capricornus. Left of belly. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Pam Pham Bam Bham Mam to Aquarius. Left of penis. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Yam Ram Lam Vam Ksham to Pisces. Left foot. 


Pitha Nyasa 

White, black, red, dusky, green, yellow are, in sequence, the colours of the 50 
sacred sites (Pithas). Having meditated thus, the devotee should place these 
Pithas using the letters of the alphabet: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am obeisance to Kamarupa. Head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am Varanasi. Circle of face. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Im Nepala. Right eye. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Im Paundrardhana. Left eye. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Um Purasthira Kashmira. Right ear. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Um Kanyakubja. Left ear. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Rm Purnashaila. Right nostril. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Rm Arbudachala. Left nostril. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Rm Amritakeshvara. Right cheek. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lm Ekamraya. Left cheek. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Em Trisrotasi. Upper lip. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Aim Kamakoti. Lower lip. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Om Kailasa. Upper teeth. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Aum Bhrigunagara. Lower teeth. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am Kedara. Tongue tip. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ah Chandra Puskarini. Throat. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kam Shripura. Right shoulder joint. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kham Omkara. Right elbow. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Gam Jalandhara. Right wrist. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Gham Malaya. Right hand finger root. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Nam Kulantaka. Right hand finger tips. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Cham Devikota. Left shoulder joint. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ccham Gokarna. Left elbow. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Jam Maruteshvara. Left wrist. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Jham Attahasa. Left hand finger root. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Nam Viraja. Left hand finger tips. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Rajageha. Right leg joint. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tham Mahapatha. Right knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dam Kolapura. Right ankle. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dham Elapura. Right sole of foot. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Nam Koleshvara. Right foot toes. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Jayantika. Left leg joint. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tham Ujjayini. Left knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dam Chitra. Left ankle. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dham Kshirika. Left sole of foot. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Nam Hastinapura. Left foot toes. 


Aim Hrim Shrim Pam Uddisha. Right side. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Pham Prayag. Left side. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Bam Shashtisha. Back. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Bham Mayapuri. Navel. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Mam Jalesha. Belly. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Yam Malaya. Heart. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ram Shri Shaila. Right shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lam Mem. Back of neck. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Vam Girivara. Left shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sham Mahendra. Heart to right hand palm. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sham Vamana. Heart to left hand palm. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sam Hiranyapura. Heart to right foot sole. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ham Mahalakshmi Pura. Heart to left foot sole. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lam Oddiyana. Heart to genitals. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ksham obeisance to Chayachatra. Heart to top of head. 

Thus the shodha nyasa is completed. 


Shri Chakra Nyasa 

When one meditates that the virtuous one is in her heart, as bright as vermilion, 
it is said that she causes delusion, desire, subjugation and attraction - 
Vamakeshvarimatam IV, 42 

The following lengthy and complex nyasa is translated from Nityotsava, a work 
based on the Kalpasutras, and written by Umanandanatha, a disciple of 
Bhaskararaya (Bhasurandandanatha), an 18th century devotee of Shri Vidya 
who wrote an extensive commentary on the Lalitasahasranama (Thousand 
Names of Lalita). 

This last work is in English translation in an Adyar Library tradition. 
Bhaskararaya also wrote a work called Varivarahasya, also in English 
translation. The Shri Chakra Nyasa identifies the different elements of the Shri 
Yantra with different parts of the human organism. As the devotee touches the 
particular part of the body, she or he visualises the particular aspect and at the 
same time pronounces a mantra, linked to the particular matrikas or letters of the 
Sanskrit alphabet. 

For a full understanding of this complex nyasa, look at the other sections on Shri 
Vidya on this web site, in particular, Lalita and the different mandalas of the 
yantra. The translation of the Bhavanopanishad, along with the prayoga or 
practical application, is also worth having at hand. 

Shri Chakra Nyasa 

After having done the daily declared practice of Shri Devi, and having given 
ritual offering (upachara), mantra, and holding a flower between folded hands, 
the devotee should meditate firstly on the form of the Shri Chakra on the head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to the collective deities of the Chakra, the Prakata, Gupta, 

Guptatara, Sampradaya, Kulakaula, Nigarbha, Rahasya, Atirahasya, Pararahasya 

Yoginis. These should be diffused over all the limbs. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Gam hail to Ganapati. Right thigh. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ksham. Kshetrapala. Right shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Yam Yoginis. Left shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Vam Vatuka. Left thigh. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Lam to Indra. Big toes. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ram to Agni. Right knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Yama. Right side. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ksham, Nirriti. Right shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Vam Varuna. Head. 


Aim Hrim Shrim Yam Vayu. Left shoulder. 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sam Soma. Left side. 
Aim Hrim Shrim Ham Ishana. Left knee. 
Aim Hrim Shrim Ham Sah Brahma. Head. 
Aim Hrim Shrim Am hail to Ananta. Muladhara. 

Nyasa of the Chakra Bewildering the Three Worlds 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to the Chakra Bewildering the Three Worlds. Diffusion 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to the First Line 

Aim Hrim Shrim Anima Siddhi. Back of shoulder on right. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Laghima Siddhi. Tips of right fingers. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Mahima Siddhi. Right thigh joint. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ishitva Siddhi. Tips of right toes. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Vashitva Siddhi. Tips of left toes. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Prakata Siddhi. Left thigh joint. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Bhukti Siddhi. Left hand finger tips. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Iccha Siddhi. Back of right shoulder on left. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Prapti Siddhi. Root of tuft of head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to Sarvakama Siddhi. Back of head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to the Middle Line of the Bhupura. Diffusion. 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to Brahmi. Big toes. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Maheshvari. Right side. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kaumari. Head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Vaishnavi. Left side. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Varahi. Left knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Indrani. Right knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Chamunda. Right shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Mahalakshmi. Left shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to the Inner Line of the Bhupura. Diffusion. 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to Sarva Sankshobhini. Big toes. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvavidravini. Right side. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvakarshini. Head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvavashankari. Left side. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvonmadini. Left knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvananknsha. Right knee. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvakhechari. Right shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvabija. Left shoulder. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvayoni. Top of head. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvatrikhanda. Big toes. 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to Tripura, the Lady of the Chakra Bewildering the Three 


Worlds. Am Am Sauh. 

These Prakata Yoginis in the Chakra Bewildering the Three Worlds, with their 
mudras, with their Siddhis, with their weapons, with their Shaktis, with their 
vehicles, with their attendants, are all placed in the heart. 

Nyasa of the Chakra Fulfilling All Desires 

Aim Klim Sauh hail to the Chakra Fulfilling All Desires (diffusion) 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to Kamakarshini Nityakala (back right ear) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Buddhyakarshini (right shoulder) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ahamkarakarshini (right elbow) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Shabdakarshini (back right hand) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sparshakarshini (right thigh) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Rupakarshini (right knee) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Rasakarshini (right ankle) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Gandhakarshini (sole right foot) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Chittakarshini (sole left foot) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dharyakarshini (left ankle) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Smrityakarshini (left knee) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Namakarshini (left thigh) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Bijakarshini (back left hand) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Atmakarshini (left elbow) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Amritakarshini (left shoulder) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sharirakarshini (back left ear) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Aim Klim Sauh hail to the Lady of the Chakra Fulfilling All 

Desires (in heart ) 

These Gupta Yoginis in the Chakra Fulfilling All Desires with their Mudras &c. 

(are declared) 

Nyasa of the All Agitating Chakra 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Klim Sauh hail to the Chakra (diffusion) Agitating All 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to Ananga Kusuma (right temple) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ananga Mekhala (right shoulder joint) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ananga Madana (right thigh) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ananga Madanatura (right ankle) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ananga Vegini (left thigh) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ananga Ankusha (left shoulder joint) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ananga Malini (left temple) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Klim Sauh hail to the Lady of the All Agitating Chakra 



These Guptatara Yoginis in the Chakra with their Mudras &c. (are declared). 

Nyasa of the Chakra Bestowing All Good Fortune 

Aim Hrim Shrim Haim Hklim Hsauh hail to the Chakra Bestowing All Good 

Fortune (diffusion) 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to Sarva Sankshobhini (middle of f head) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarva Vidravini (right of f head) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvakarshini (right cheek) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvahladini (right shoulder) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvasammohini (right side) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvastambhini (right thigh) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvajrimbhini (right leg) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvavashankari (left leg) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvaranjini (left thigh) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvonmadini (left side) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvarthasadhini (left shoulder) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvasampattipurani (left cheek) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvamantramayi (left f head) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarva Dvandva Kshayankari (back of head) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Haim Hklim Hsauh hail to Tripura Vasini, Lady of the Chakra 

Bestowing All Good Fortune (heart) 

These Sampradaya Yoginis in the Chakra Bestowing All Good Fortune, with 

their Mudras etc. are declared. 

Nyasa of the Chakra of all Objects of the Sadhaka 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hsaim Hsklim Hssauh hail to the Chakra of All Objects of the 
Sadhaka (diffusion) 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to Sarvasiddhiprada (right nostril) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvasampatprada (right corner of mouth) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvapriyankari (right breast) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvamangalakarini (right testicle) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvakamaprada (right of penis) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvadukhavimochini (left of penis) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvamrityuprashanani (left breast) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvavighnavasini (left testicle) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvangasundari (left of mouth) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvasauhhagyadayini ( left nostril ) 
Aim Hrim Shrim Hsaim Hsklim Hssauh hail to Tripura Shri, the Lady of the 


Chakra Giving All Objects to the Sadhaka (heart) 

These Kulottirna Yoginis, in the Sarvarthasadhaka Chakra, with their Mudras 

&c. thus are declared. 

Nyasa of the Chakra of All Protection 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Klim Blem hail to the Chakra Giving All Protection 


Aim Hrim Shrim hail to Sarvajna (right eye) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvashakti (nose root) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvaishvarya Pradayini (left eye) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvajnanama (left shoulder root) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarva Vyadhi Vinashini (left thigh root) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvadhara Svarupa (left knee) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvapapahara (right knee) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvanandamaya (genitals) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarva Raksha Svarupini (right thigh root) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarva Ipsita Phalaprada (right shoulder root) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Klim Blem hail to Tripura Malini, the Lady of the 

Chakra of All Protection (heart) 

These Nigarbha Yoginis, in the Chakra of All Protection thus (are declared) 

Nyasa of the Chakra Destroying All Disease 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Shrim Sauh hail to the Chakra Destroying All Disease 


Aim Hrim Shrim Am Am Im Im Um Um Rm Rm Lm Lm Em Aim Om Aum 

Am Ah Blum hail to Vashini, Devata of Speech (right of chin) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kam Kham Gam Gham Nam Klhrim Kameshvari (right of 


Aim Hrim Shrim Cam Cham Jam Jham Nam Nvlim Modini (right of heart) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam Ylum Vimala (right of navel) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam Jmrim Aruna (left of navel) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Pam Pham Bam Bham Mam Hslvyum Jayini (left of heart) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Yam Ram Lam Vam Jhmryum Sarveshvari (left of throat ) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sham Sham Sam Ham Ksham Kshmrim Kaulini (left of chin) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Shrim Sauh hail to Tripura Siddha, Lady of the Chakra 

which Removes All Disease (heart) 

These Rahasya Yoginis in the Chakra Removing All Disease, with their Mudras 

&c. thus are declared. 


Weapon Nyasa 

The four weapons, in order, beginning from the East, should be placed in the 

heart triangle. 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dram Drim Klim Blum Sah hail to the All Crushing 

Arrows(behind the triangle) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dham the All Bewildering Bow (right side of triangle) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim the All Subjugating Noose (front of triangle) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Krom hail to the All Paralysing Goad (left side of triangle) 

Nyasa of the Chakra Giving All Siddhi 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hsraim Hsrklim Hsrsauh hail to the Chakra Giving all Siddhi 


Aim Hrim Shrim hail to the first section, which is the Kamarupa Pitha and 

which is Kameshvari (front part of triangle) 

Aim Hrim Shrim to the second section, which is the Purnagiri Pitha and which is 

Mahavajreshvari (right part) 

Aim Hrim Shrim to the third section, which is the Jalandhara Pitha and which is 

Mahabhagamalini (left part) 

Aim Hrim Shrim hail to the Root Mantra, the Oddyana Pitha, and 

Mahatripurasundari ( in centre of triangle ) 

Then one should place, in order, the 16 vowels and the 16 Nityas: 

(Kameshvari Mantra) hail to Kameshvari Nitya. Similarly one should place the 

remaining 14 Nityas, placing the Root Mantra and Shodashi in the centre. 

These Atirahasya Yogihis, in the Chakra Giving All Siddhi, with their Mudras 

etc. thus (are declared). 

Nyasa of the Chakra Consisting of Bliss 

Aim Hrim Shrim ka e i la hrim ha sa ka ha la hrim sa ka la hrim hail to the 

Chakra Consisting of Bliss (diffusion) 

Aim Hrim Shrim ka e i la hrim ha sa ka ha la hrim sa ka la hrim hail to Shri 

Lalita (centre of heart) 

These Parapara Hahasya Yuginis, with their Mudras, Weapons, Siddhis, Shaktis, 

Vehicles and Attendants, should be placed in the Chakra Consisting of Bliss. 

Aim Hrim Shrim ka e i la hrim ha sa ka ha la hrim sa ka la hrim hail to Shri 

Lalita, Lady of the Chakra Consisting of Bliss. 


Then, in the heart, the Yoni Mudra should be displayed, and having recited the 
Root Mantra once more, one should do hand and limb nyasa. 

Shri Nathanavaratnamalika 

Even Shiva bereft of Kundalini Shakti becomes a corpse (Shava) - Devi 

This tiny Sanskrit work, the rosary or garland of the nine gems of the Nathas, is 
found in the 1953 Ganesh & Co version of Sir John Woodroffe's translation and 
text of the work on Shri Vidya Kamakalavilasa. Ascribed to Maheshanatha, the 
text includes a commentary by the renowned Shri Vidya upasaka Bhaskararaya 

The briefness of the text, reproduced in iTrans format below but without 
Bhaskaraya's commentary, belies its importance, as it deals with the number 
symbolism of nine and how this relates to the 21,600 breaths a human is 
supposed to take in a day, as well as the identity of these with the matrikas, or 
letters of the Sanskrit alphabet, the Shri Yantra, and time itself. 

As the first shloka says, Hamsah is the gayatri mantra produced by the 
breathing, and this is one with the unconscious recitation of the mantra so.aha.m, 
pervading all human beings. 

Sir John Woodroffe says in a commentary to his translation of the Anandalahari 
(Wave of Bliss), published in 1916: "Shiva can do nothing without Shakti which 
is of threefold aspect of Iccha (will), Jnana (knowledge) and Kriya (action). The 
author here speaks of the Mantra Hamsah. Ham is the Bija of Shiva and Sah that 
of Shakti. Ham+Sah = Hamsah = Sah+Ham = So Ham = So'Ham = Sa+Aham, 
So Ham being Sah+Ham = Shakti+Shiva; if S and H be eliminated therefrom 
there remains Ong or Om the Pranava..." 

The Navanaths of the title of this work are, in the Tantrarajatantra, linked to the 
nine orifices of the human body, and to the nine mandalas of the Shri Yantra. 

As a human being, in these schools, is considered as a microcosm, the in- 
breathing and the out-breathing symbolise the creation and the dissolution of the 
universe. The realisation of Ha+Sa, Sun and Moon, Shiva and Shakti, in- 
breathing and out-breathing is to become one with the universe itself. 

But this, according to these schools, cannot be achieved without a yogic 
understanding of the other effects of the wheel of time, one, as the 


Yoginihridaya states, with the mandalas of the Shri Chakra, the letters of the 
alphabet (sound/mantra), and the Shaktis or attendants of the goddess. 

Some of these Shaktis, as the introduction to the Malinivijayottaratantra have 
the function of preventing such a realisation, while others foster this. Further, 
according to various texts and commentaries of Kashmir Shaivism, ignorance 
and other defects also prevent the realisation of one's essential unity with Shiva- 
Shakti. The normal course of creation is pravritti, an expansion or flowing 
outward. The sadhaka is to cultivate nivritti, ulta sadhana - a reverse movement, 
or kaya sadhana - cultivation of the body. 

This may have little or much to do with ritual worship (puja), which if 
performed without an inner realisation of the principles it embodies is 
considered to be mummery. 

The different nyasas of the Shri Vidya tradition are intended to bring to a 
sadhaka the realisation of his or her essential unity with the matrikas, with the 
constellations (rashi) planets (graha) which includes the Sun and the Moon) and 
the 27 asterisms (nakshatra), and breath itself. 

Practical ways to achieve this realisation are reputed to be the inner tradition of 
sadhana taught in some schools, and which may include a number of different 
methods. Some of these may require an intense struggle because an individual, 
not realising that she or he is Shiva-Shakti, instead identifies with partial aspects 
or Shaktis. 

The Tantrarajatantra hints at some of these methods, such as the way the 
grahas or planets influence the breath and therefore prevent this realisation as 
they affect the musculature and other parts of the human bionergetic web. 
Freeing oneself from these misidentifications also frees up the natural flow of 
Pranashakti (herself one with the supreme Devi), in the body. 

A teacher who understands the movement of these currents (nadis) and the 
relationship between the wheel of time (Kalachakra), divinity, and the body 
itself is said to be a requisite in these different tantrik schools. 

shrlgaNeshAya namaH 

shrImaheshanAthakR A itA 



ha.msaH so.aha.m mantramayaiH shvAsanikAyairyA gAyatrl janteShu 


sarveShu pinaddhA . 

tadrUpaH sannAvirabhUddhAsanayA yasta.m sanmArga.m mattmayUra.m 

gurumlDe .. 1.. 


ShaDathlnarabhAvam.h . 

yastlrthAtmA maNDalapUrNAxaravarShmA ta.m sanmArga.m mattamayUra.m 

gurumlDe ..2.. 

tatpashvAtyaprANasamUhairnavanAthA yaH ShaDtri.mshattattvamayaH 

ShoDasha nityAH . 

eva.m rltyA vAsitasa.mdhyAtrayamUrtista.m sanmArga.m mattamayUra.m 

gurumlDe ..3.. 

svAsaiH ShaShTyA ShaShTighaTIdaivatarUpo ##(##60##)## 

meShapraShTadvAdashashashi ##(## 12 ##)## pratimAnaH . 

arkAdyAtmA yo sanmArga.m mattamayUra.m 

gurumlDe ..4.. 

pa~nchAtmA bhUtanikAyo gatamAyo yaH pa~nchAshadvarNa ##(## 50 ##)## 

vapushchakrgatAbhiH . 

shaktyAHbhiH sa~NgatimAnekanavatyA ta.m sanmArga.m mattamayUra.m 

gurumlDe ..5.. 

yaddhA pa~nchAshallipipIDaikaradAnAmAvR A ittyAsIdyaH phalavAn.h 

deshikavaryaH . 

GYAnottu~Ngo ##(## 3600 ##)## DaralakasahaShaTkavR A itaista.m 

sanmArga.m mattamayUra.m gurumlDe ..6.. 

netrodgADho ##(## 4320 ##)## deshikarADbhUta ##(## 5 ##)## samUhaireno 

vArl yo navanAthagrahachakraiH . 

naxatrasyAvR A ittibhirAnandasharIrasta.m sanmArga.m mattamayUra.m 

gurumlDe .. 7.. 

nityAvR A ittAvIshalayaH sannachalo.abhUnnADYAvR A ttau rAshiShu 

nAnAjaparUpaH . 

abhyasyadbhistattvagaNairunnatamUrtista.m sanmArga.m mattamayUra.m 

gurumlDe ..8.. 

dhR A ityurvIshAShTendradigAshAhiyugatriproktAbhiH 

pu.mhetibhirambAbhirabhinnaH . 

AvR A ittyaiva.m ShaNNavateryaH shikharAtmA ta.m sanmArga.m 

mattamayUra.m gurumlDe ..9.. 

ityagrathnAdbhAskararAyo navaratnairbhAlAmagryA.m nAtharahsya.m 

gamayantltam.h . 

yeShAmeShA kaNThagatA te jagadambA vidyAbhyAsAdatra januShyeva 

maheShaH .. 10.. 

iti shrImaheshanAthakR A itA nAthanavaratnamAlA samAptA . 


Shri Vidya Ratna Sutras 

Thou who has stolen the left half of the body of Shambhu art yet methinks 
dissatisfied therewith. It would seem that the other half has been stolen also, so 
that Thou art now red and three-eyed, weighted with two breasts, and with the 
whole of the crescent moon Thou art crowned - Wave of Bliss V23, Woodroffe 

This brief work, available in an iTrans Sanskrit version, gives in a concise form 
details of Devi Lalita, the Triple Goddess, Mahatripurasundari, along with her 
attendant and subsidiary forms with their yantras and mantras. 

It is apparent from the work below that Lalita is outside or above the cardinal 
points, in the palace of gems on the paradise island. The throne she occupies is 
surrounded by four gates; each presided over by a vidya (Devi as sound). The 
whole work, in the original Sanskrit, uses a number code for the yantras and 
vidyas (mantras) of the different retinues, with consonants representing 
numbers, vowels zero. 

The vidya (translated here as female excellence), the form of the Devi, and her 
y antra are all one. 

Below, and before our translation, is the English introduction to the Sanskrit 
text, published in 1924 as Volume II of the Princess of Wales Sarasvati Bhavana 
series, written by Narayana Shastri Khiste, and out of copyright. The Sanskrit 
text as published in that text has jumbled the numbers. 

We apologise in advance for any defects in our translation, and welcome 


The Vidyaratna Sutra is an interesting work on Tripura Agama attributed to 
Gaudapada. Though the identity of this author is not yet established, it seems 
probable that he was the same as the Parama Guru of the great Shankaracharya. 
That Shankaracharya was also a Tantric teacher of the Tripura Line is now 
beyond doubt; and it is well known that Gaudapada was the author of a stotra 
called Subhagodaya, which sings the glories of the Supreme Goddess in the 
form of Tripura. 

Bhaskara Raya in his Saubhagyabhaskara refers to and quotes from Shri 
Vidyaratna sutra as a work of Gaudapada. 


The author of the Commentary on the sutras, also published with the text (as far 
as available), was one Shankararanya who calls himself a pupil of Vidyaranya 
muni. He must be distinguished from Shankarananda, another pupil of 
Vidyaranya, whose style of composition as evident from his numerous 
commentaries on the Upanisads is widely different from that of the present 

Though Shankararanya associates himself with the name of the great 
Vidyaranya, his fame will not thereby be ensured. The whole commentary bears 
traces of grammatical aberrations, faulty Sanskrit and lack of mastery of the 

Assuming that the author did not wilfully beguile his relations, he may be 
assigned to the 14th or 15th Century AD. 

The sutras of Gaudapada are 101 in number, of which the first 21 only have 
been commented upon. The commentary did not extend further, the author 
observing that as the remaining sutras are plain in meaning they do not call for 

The subject matter of the sutras may be touched upon in a few words: 

Brahma is described by the author as the Principle of Light, which is its Essence 
and Power. It is self-luminous in character, and the relation between Brahma and 
Shakti is one of non-difference. This Power is called anAmA, better known as 
Shrividya, which though one becomes manifold by means of the three tattvas. 

The Tattva is the same as Brahma or Shakti. 

It is threefold, viz. Atma, Vidya and Shiva. In the guru too we have a triple 
Ogha (viz. Divya, Siddha and Manava), Krama otherwise known as Adhisthana, 
Sadhana, Tattva, charana, or as Shakti, Kamaraja and Vagbhava Kutas, or as 
Para, Pashyanti and Madhyama. 

The Shakti as thus triplicated, becomes Vidya, Shyama and Shambhavi, which 
are associated respectively with Brahma, Vishnu and Shambhu. 

The lords (Purushas) of these three powers, are Parama Shiva (of Para Vidya), 
Sadashiva (of Shyamala) and Rudra (of Shambhavi). 

The Vidya is by reason of perfection of Saundarya called Tripurasundari. 


She is also called Kameshvari after the name of her Purusha Parama Shiva who 
is called Kameshvara. 

She is referred to as Rajarajeshvari, Shodashi, &c. also. 

From the above sketch it will appear that Shyama and Shambhavi are 
respectively the Purva and Uttara Vidyas of Shrividya, from which many Vidyas 
appeared and came to be regarded as belonging to the family of Maha Vidya. 

Thus the Vidyas issuing from Shyama of the Purvamnaya preside over the 
Rgveda at the Eastern Gate. The Shambhavi Vidyas are of the Uttaramnaya and 
preside over the Samaveda at the Northern Gate. 

The Supreme Vidya Tripurasundari, as Anuttara, is mistress of the Baindava 
Chakra within the Chintamani grha. 

The above will suffice, I believe, to give an idea of the general contents of the 
book now published. 

The present edition of the sutras and their commentary is based upon the 
following data: 

(1) Ms, marked as ka obtained from my friend Pandita Gopinatha Shastri 
Dravida BA Rajaguru of Jaipur State (for which I thank him very much) and 
now deposited in the Govt. Sanskrit Library, Sarasvati Bhavana, Benares. Fols 
1-18. Size, 9-2" x 4-5". Lines, 13 in a page, and letters, 40 in a line. Script, 
Nagari. Material, country made paper. Date, Samvat 1838 (= 1781 AD). 

(2) Ms. marked as kha. It is a transcript prepared from a Ms of the Govt. 
Oriental Mss Library Madras and collated with another Ms of the same Library. 
Fols 1-11 (sutras); 1-59 (commentary). Size, 8.2" x 6.3". Lines, 11 in a page, 
and letters, 14 (Text) - 24 (commentary) in a line. 

Script, Nagari. Material, English paper. The Ms is useless except for purposes of 

Govt. Sanskrit Library, 
Sarasvati Bhavana, 
March 31, 1924 



Now the investigation into the Shakti mantra agama. 
This indivisible creatrix is the self. 

Chit-Shakti is the very essence of consciousness (chaitanya). 
She, known as Anama, is called Shri Vidya. 
Through the three tattvas, she becomes many. 
The multitude of triangles and petals is her chakra. 

She is the sum total of Shambhavi, Vidya and Shyama, who are the three tattvas 
and the three types. 

She is the sum total of the various vidyas from east [clockwise] to north. 
These vidyas are, therefore, her retinue. 
Shyama is in the east. 

Saubhagya, herself a composite-aggregate, is in the south. 
Another composite-aggregate is in the west. 
Shambhavi, with her retinue, is in the north. 
There is another composite-aggregate above. 

Mahavidya Tripurasundari, the Anuttara, is in the palace made from the wish- 
fulfilling gem (Chintamani). 

She, in order to kill (the anti-god) Bhandasura, became many. 
From her arose the many mantras, yantras and tantras. 
With their various kinds of devotion and their various principles of worship 

From these arise various results (fruits). 

The dwelling place of Shri is said to consist of bindu, triangle, eight triangles, 
two series of 10 triangles, 14 triangles, eight petals, 16 petals, three lines, and a 

This consists of nine enveloping gems. 
Out of herself the mother created Saubhagya's yantra. 
Having produced this, she created the western place. 
These three have various attendants. 

The yantra of Shuddhi Vidya, her dwelling place, has two, three, six and sixteen 

The abode of Kumari has two, eight and 16 petals. 

Each of these has a yantra with one, three, six, eight, five, eight, eight, 12 and 
six petals. 

The yantra and dwelling place of Shyama has bindu, four, five and eight 
triangles, and 16 and eight petals. 
This is the supreme abode of all the collectivity (?). 

The yantra of Hari is bindu, eight, eight, six, 14 petals, and two sets of eight 

The yantra of Shri Guru consists of bindu, eight, three, eight petals, three circles 


and a bhupura. 

Or the abode of Shri Guru consists of the letters A-Ka-Tha within a triangle. 
All of the vidyas of the Anuttara consist of Shuddha Vidya. 
Vartali has five avaranas or subsidiary circles. 
Vatuka has six. 

Tirodhana has the same number. 
Bhuvaneshi has seven. 
Sannihita has six. 
Kameshi has three kalas. 
Turiya has five. 
Maharddha has six. 
Shambhavi has five. 
Mrigeshi has six. 

The abode of the female excellence Bodhaka has four avaranas. 
The female excellence Saubhagya has 15 letters. 
Similar to her is the western Vidya. 
Shyama has 100 letters. 

The female excellence (vidya) Pushpini has 22 syllables. 
The female excellence Shuka Vidya has 42 letters. 
The female excellence Hasanti Devata has 35 syllables. 
The excellence known as Shuddhavidya has three letters. 
This is the yantra of Pushpini. 

Shri has, therefore, all these different kinds of flowery circles. 
Sharika is the parrot-coloured one. 
She has hosts of attendants. 
Of all these, She (Shyama) is the world-gladdener. 

Her own yantra is bindu, three, six, and eight triangles, eight petals and an eight 
fold Earth square. 

This number is (the number of) her hosts of attendants. 
The yantra of Samaya Vidyeshvari originates from Shuddhi Vidya. 
Saubhagya's yantra has three, six and six triangles and two sets of eight petals 
with an earthsquare. 
She has give attendants. 

Vartali's yantra has bindu, three petals, three triangles, 16 petals and an 

Vatuka's yantra has a bindu, three and eight triangles, eight petals and 16 petals. 
Tirodhana's yantra has 16 and eight petals and an earthsquare. 
Bhuvaneshi's yantra consists of bindu, three and six angles, eight triangles, eight 
petals, and an earthsquare. 

Annapurna's abode is bindu, six and eight triangles, 16 petals, eight petals and 
an earthsquare. 

Bhuvaneshi has a secret yantra of bindu, triangle, four angles, a beautiful circle 


of 16 petals and an earthsquare. 

Maharddha has a bindu, eight angles, two petals, 16 petals, eight petals and an 


Svanayaki has a yantra of six angles. 

Mishra Vidya's yantra is 16-fold. 

Vagvadini's consists of eight lines. 

Shambhavi's yantra is four fold. 

Kumari is the female excellence (vidya) of three letters. 

Dvadasharddha has 10 letters. 

Saubhagya Sannihita has 36 letters. 

The mantra of Maha Heramba is of 28 letters. 

The mantra of Vatuka is of 28 letters. 

The Boar-Faced One (Varahi) has both a mantra of 108 syllables and nine 


The female excellence (vidya) Yavantika has 56 letters. 

The female excellence Bhuvaneshi is of one syllable. 

Or else the female excellence of 27 letters. 

The Kadi is the 15 -lettered (vidya) starting with the letter Ka as first of the 15 


Kamakala, the union of two things, the female excellence (vidya) of the fourth 


Mukhya's vidya is one syllable. 

The vidya Turya is of 13 letters. 

Maharddha is the female excellence (vidya) of 109 letters. 

Ashvarudha is the 12 syllabled female excellence. 

The Mishra Vidya is the vidya of one syllable. 

The Vagvadini is the vidya of 13 letters. 

Para is the female excellence (vidya) of one syllable. 

The Paraprasada form has two letters. 

Parashambhu has both a six-fold and an 1 1-fold vidya of long and short vowels. 

Para Shambhavi has a vidya which is fivefold and of both long and short 


The chief vidya, the Annutara aggregate, has a vidya of 17 letters. 

There is an infinite number of her divisions and sub -divisions. 

These sutras were declared by Gaudapada. 


Shri Puja 

One should take one 's rosary, which may be made of pearl, beautiful emeralds, 
lotus seeds, rudrakshas, crystal, coral, ruby, red sandalwood and so forth. 
Having made oneself like Tripura, smearing oneself with kumkum, aguru, 
camphor and musk, one should recite the mantra 100,000 times. This liberates 
one from great sins - Vamakeshvarimatam V, 8-10 

This daily puja of Shri Mahatripurasundari is drawn from a variety of sources 
including Subhagodaya, the Vamakeshvara Tantra, the Gandharva Tantra and 
the Dakshinamurti Samhita. 

Om, I bow to the elephant headed god 

Rise early, sit in the lotus position, perform pranayama and worship Guru 
through his Shakti: 

1 . Aim Klim Shrim Ha Sa Kha Phrem Ha Sa Ksha Ma La Va Ra Yum Ha Sa 
Kha Phrem Ha Sa Ksha Ma La Va Ra Yim Hsauh Shauh [Guru's name] 
Anandanatha Padukam Pujayami 

Meditation - Seated in the white 1000 petal lotus, dressed in white, with 
two eyes, two hands, granting boons and dispelling fear. His Shakti sits on 
his left thigh, She has two hands, one holds a white lotus, the other holds 
Her partner in tight embrace. 

Then offer the objects of the senses through the Shakti - smell as perfume, 
sound as flower, touch as incense, sight as light, taste as food. Then bathe 
with the Gayatri of the Devi: 

Tripurasundari Vidmahe Kameshvari Dhimahi Tannah Klinne 
Prachodayat (1) 

Use this Gayatri 108 times whilst meditating on Her in the heart. Then 
make an offering to Martanda Bhairava (2), offering a handful of water 
mixed with red flowers and sandal, whilst kneeling and uttering: 

Hrim Hamsah Martanda Bhairavaya Prakasha Shakti Sahitaya Idam 
Arghyam Namo Namah (3) 


2. Bow to the lords of the Directions (4), to the Yoginis (5), to the Lord of 
Soil (6), to Ganesha (7), to the boy Vatuka (8), and then make an offering 
to the Elements: 

Om Hrim Sarvavighnakrit Sarvabhutebhyo Hum Svaha (9) 
Then remove all obstacles with: 

Aim Klim Sauh Astray a Phot (10) 

Place the water pot yantra on the left, and place the pot with water on it. 
The base represents Fire, the pot Sun, and the nectar Moon (11). Say: 

Aim Klim Sauh Mahatripurasundarya Arghyapatrasanam Sadhayami (12) 

Invoke the presence of amrita into the pot from the Sun. Then cover with 
the hands. Meditate on the letters of the alphabet forming a triangle in the 
centre of the pot (13). Worship Ananda Bhairava and Suradevi in the pot: 

Ha Sa Ksha Ma La Va Ra Yum Ananda Bhairavaya Vaushat. Sa Ha Ksha 
Ma La Va Ra Yim Suradevyai Vaushat (14) 

Then mutter: 

Aim Klim Sauh Amrite Amritodbhave Amriteshvari Amritavarshini 
Amritam Sravaya Sravaya Svaha! (15) 

Then purify with the mantra: 

Aim Vada Vada Vagadini Aim Klim Klenne Kledini Kledaya Mama 
Kshobham Kuru Kuru Klim Sauh Moksham Kuru Kuru Svaha (16) 

3. Visualise earth dissolving into water, water into fire, fire into air, air 


into aether, aether into 'I am', that into Buddhi, Buddhi into Prakriti, 
Prakriti into the Absolute. Visualise the angry black man in the left side of 
the abdomen. Think of the purple bija Yam on the left nostril and inhale 
16 times to dry up, then red Ram in abdomen with 64 retentions (to burn), 
then white Vam in forehead with 32 exhalations (to wash), then yellow 
Lam in the adhara. Deeply concentrate on the regions of Fire, Sun and 
Moon, and on the Devi as the Fourth in the Bindu. 
Then protect with the mantra: 

Om Hrim Hamsah So Aham Svaha. Aim Klim Sauh Tripurasundari Mam 
Raksha Raksha (17) 

4. Wash the hands with the mantra: 

Am Am Sauh 

Hrim Klim Sauh Shri Mahatripurasundari Devyatmasanaya Namah (18) 
Haim Hklim Hsauh Shri Mahatripurasundari Chakrasanaya Namah (19) 
Hsaum Hsklim Hssauh Shri Mahatripurasundari Sarvamantrasanaya 
Namah (20) 

Hrim Klim Blem Shri Maha Tripura Sundari Sadhyasiddhasanaya Namah 


Then perform the nyasa using thumb and middle fingers: 

Aim Klim Sauh Shri Mahatripurasundari Hridayaya Namah (22) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Shri Mahatripurasundari 
Aim Hrim Shrim Shri Mahatripurasundari 
Aim Hrim Shrim Shri Mahatripurasundari 
Aim Hrim Shrim Shri Mahatripurasundari 

Shirase Svaha (23) 
Shikayai Vashat (24) 
Kavachaya Hum (25) 
Netratrayaya Vaushat (26) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Shri Mahatripurasundari As tray a Phot (27) 
At this stage other nyasas may be performed. 

5. Then meditate in the heart, saying: I meditate on Shri Shri 


Mahatripurasundari as having four arms, three eyes, and holding noose, 
good, flowers and bow. 

Then take Devi via the left nostril onto a flower with the bija Yam, and 
place the flower on the yantra, image, or disciple. Say: 

Hsaim Hsklim Hssrauh 

Make the gesture of bringing the Devi into the yantra. Offer three 
handfuls of flowers saying: 

Aim Klim Sauh Maha Tripura Sundari Shri Padukam Pujayami (28) 

Offer three libations of consecrated liquid with: 

Aim Klim Sauh Maha Tripurasundari Shri Padukam Tarpayami (29) 

Then say the following: 

O Devi, may You be kind to me, and accept this worship, as I, though 
poor physically as well as in material resources, offer it in a devotional 

Then present the nine mudras, afterwards offering flowers, incense, light, 
food, wine, and praise. Then perform circumambulation, either triangular, 
hexagonal, half moon, circular, staff like, eight limbed, or terrific. (30) 

6. Then worship the Yoginis in the different chakras of Shri Yantra 
starting with the outermost line of the Bhupura: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Anima Siddhi Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami 


Do the same with Laghima. (31) 

Then worship the Shaktis in the middle line with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Brahmi Matri Devi Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami 

Do the same with Maheshvari etc. (32) 

Then worship the Mudra Shaktis of the inner line with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarva Sankshobhini Mudra Shakti Shri Padukam 
Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. 

Do the same with Sarvavidravini &c. (33) 

Having worshipped these Prakata Yoginis in the Trailokya Mohana 
Chakra, with their Mudras, Siddhis, Weapons, Shaktis on Vehicles, with 
their attendants, with all their worships and libations, take a flower in the 
Anjali Mudra, and say: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Am Am Sauh Tripura Chakreshvari Shri Padukam 
Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. 

Then the Sarvasankshobhini Mudra should be displayed with the mantra 
Dram. Then say: 

O Devi, bestow on me the desired siddhi, I seek refuge in the 
compassionate one. Through devotion, I bestow on You the first avarana 

7. Worship the 16 Kala Shaktis (34) then, going anti-clockwise with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kamakarshini Nitya Kala Shri Padukam Pujayami 
Tarpayami Namah. 

Do the same for Buddhyakarshini etc. 

Thus having worshipped the Gupta Yoginis in the 16 petal Chakra with 
their mudras etc, one should say: 

Aim Klim Sauh Tripureshi Chakreshvari Shri Padukam Pujayami 
Tarpayami Namah 


Then the Sarvavidravini Mudra should be displayed, with its mantra 
Drim. Say: 

O Devi bestow on me the desired siddhi &c. Through devotion I bestow 
on You the second avarana worship. 

8. Then worship the Shaktis of the eight petal lotus (35) with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ananga Kusuma Devi Shri Padukam Pujayami 
Tarpayami Namah. 

Do the same for Anangamekhala etc. Thus having worshipped the 
Guptatara Yoginis in the eight petal lotus with their mudras &c. one 
should say: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Klim Sauh Tripurasundari Chakreshvari Shri 
Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah 

Then one should display the Sarvakarshini Mudra with its mantra Klim. 

O Devi bestow etc. 

9. Then worship the Shaktis of the 14 angle Chakra (36) with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvasankshobhini Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami 

Do the same for Sarvavidravini &c. Thus having worshipped the 
Sampradaya Yoginis in the 14 angle (chakra with their mudras &c. one 
should say: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Haim Hklim Hsauh Tripura Vasini Chakreshvari Shri 
Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah 

Then display the Sarva Vashankari Mudra with its bija Blum. Say: 

O Devi bestow etc 

10. Then worship the Shaktis of the outer 10 angles (37) with: 


Aim Hrim Shrim Sarva Siddhi Prada Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami 

Do the same for Sarva Sampatprada &c. Thus, having worshipped the 
Kulakula Yoginis in the outer 10 angle chakra with their mudras &c, one 
should say: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hsaim Hsklim Hssauh Tripura Shri Chakreshvari Shri 
Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah 

Then one should display the Unmadini Mudra with its bija Sah. Say: 

O Devi etc. 

12. Then worship the Shaktis of the inner 10 angles (38) with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Sarvajna Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah 

Do the same for Sarvashakti etc. Then, having worshipped these Nigarbha 
Yoginis in the inner 10 angle chakra, one should say: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Klim Blem Tripura Malini Chakreshvari Shri 
Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah 

One should display the Great Ankusha Mudra with its bija. Say: 

O Devi etc. 

13. Then worship the eight Vak Devatas of the eight angled chakra (39) with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Shrim Am Am Im Im Um Um Rm Rm Lm Lm Em 
Aim Om Aum Am Ah Blum Vashini Vagdevata Shri Padukam Pujayami 
Tarpayami Namah; Kam Kham Gam Gham Nam Klhrim Kameshvari; 
Cam Ccham Jam Jham Nam Nvlim Modini; Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam 
Ylum Vimala; Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam Jmrim Aruna; Pom Pham Bam 
Bham Mam Hslvyum Jayini; Yam Ram Lam Vam Jhmryum Sarveshvari; 
Sham Sham Sam Ham Lam Ksham Kshmrim Kaulini Vagdevata Shri 
Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah 

Thus having worshipped the Rahasya Yoginis in the eight angle chakra 
with their mudras etc. one should say: 


Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Shrim Sauh Tripura Siddha Chakreshvari Shri 
Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah 

Then show the Khechari Mudra with the bija Hssvphrem. Say: 

O Devi etc. 

14. Then, in the space between the eight angles and the trikona, one should 
worship the weapons of Shri Shri Devi with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Dram Drim Klim Blum San Sarvajambhanebhyo 

Banebhyo Nama Bona Shakti Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah 


Aim Hrim Shrim Dham Sarvasammohanaya Dhanushe Namah Dhanush 

Shakti Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah (41) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim Sarvavashikaranaya Pashaya Namah Pasha 

Shakti Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah (42) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Krom Sarvastambhanaya Ankushaya Namah Ankusha 

Shakti Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah(43) 

Thus the worship of the weapons. Then worship the three guna Shaktis in 
the trikona with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Vagbbavamuccharya Agnichakre Kamagiri Pithe 

Mitrisha Nathatmaja Kameshvari Devi Rudratma Shakti Shri Padukam 

Pujayami Tarpayami Namah (44) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Kamarajamuccharya Suryachakre Jalandhara Pithe 

Shashtisha Nathatmake Vajreshvari Devi Vishnvatma Shakti Shri 

Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah. (45) 

Aim Hrim Shrim Shaktibijamuccharya Somachakre Purnagiri Pithe 

Oddyana Nathatmake Bhagamalini Devi Brahmatma Shakti Shri 

Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah (46) 

Thus having worshipped the Atirahasya Yoginis in the central trikona, 
one should say: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hsraim Hsrklim Hsrsauh Tripuramba Chakreshvari Shri 
Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah 

One should then say: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Hsauh 


and show the Bija Mudra. Say: 
O Devi etc. 

15. Then Shri Shri Devi should be worshipped in the Bindu with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Shri Mulamuccharya Brahmachakre Oddyana Pithe 
Charya Nathatmake Shri Maha Tripurasundari Devi Parabrahmatma 
Shakti Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami Namah (47) 

Having worshipped Shri Shri Lalita Devi in this manner, one should do so 
again saying: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Ka E I La Hrim Ha Sa Ka Ha La Hrim Sa Ka La Hrim 
(bija) Shri Lalita Maha Chakreshvari Shri Padukam Pujayami Tarpayami 

Having worshipped thus, the Yonimudra should be displayed with its bija 
Aim. Say: 

O Devi bestow on me the desired siddhi etc. Through devotion I bestow 
on You the ninth avarana worship. 

16. Then perform japa of Panchadashi a minimum of 108 times. Sprinkle the 
rosary with consecrated nectar saying: 

Aim Mam Male Mahamale Sarvashakti Svarupini Chaturvargastvayi 
Nyastastasmat Me Siddhida Bhava (48) 

Hold it in the right hand with: 

Glaum Avighnam Kuru Male Tvam (49) 

Rotate it in japa without using the index finger. 

17. Then the Yoginis should be worshipped in the South East with: 

Yam Yoginibhyah Sarvavarna Yoginibhyo Hum Phat Svaha (50) 
The mudra is left thumb, mid finger, and ring finger all touching. 


Then Kshetrapala should be worshipped in the South West with: 

Ksham Kshim Kshaim Kshaum Kshah Kshetrapala Dhupadipadisahitam 
Balim Grihna Grihna Svaha (51) 

The mudra is left hand fisted and index finger outstretched. 

Then Ganesha should be worshipped in the North West with: 

Gam Gim Gum Ganapatye Varavarad Sarvajanam Me Vashamanaya 
Balim Grihna Grihna Svaha 

The mudra is left hand fisted, mid finger raised. 

Then Vatuka should be worshipped in the North East with: 

Blom Vatukaya Nama Ehi Ehi Deviputra Vatuka Natha 
Kapilajatabharabhasvara Trinetra Jvalamukha Sarvavighnan Nashaya 
Nashaya Sarvopacharasahitam Balim Grihna Grihna Svaha 
The mudra is left thumb joined with the ring finger. 

17. Then make offerings to gods, men, ancestors, Yakshas (54), yakshas (55), 
pishachas (56) and the elements, finally offering the self with: 

Itah purvam prana buddhi deha dharma adhikara jagrat svapna 
sushuptishu manasa vacha karmana hastabhyam padbhya mudarena 
shishna cha yatsmritam yakuktam yatkritam mam madiyam sakalam tvayi 
brahmanyarpitamastu Svaha (57) 

Then merge the Devi 's attendants in the Devi, then the Devi into the 
flower, and with the Aether bija take Her through the right nostril back 
into the heart. 

19. Then worship Shoshika with: 

Aim Hrim Shrim Namo Bhagavati Matangeshvari 
Sarvajanavashankari Svaha (58) 

Offer curds, white mustard, and rice into Her rectangular Homa 


Offer the remainder to Shoshika, drink some of the water, rubb one's 
head with what remains after that. Then offer to Martanda Bhairava 

Hrim Hamsah Martanda Bhairavaya Prakasha Shakti Sahitaya Idam 
Arghyam Namo Namah 

The knees are to touch the ground (59). 

20. Wash the altar with water, then throw remainder near the root of a 

Offer food to Guru and Gurushakti, or to the Kumaris (60) present, the 
remainder being eaten by the sadhaka. 


1. Let us meditate upon Tripurasundari. Let us contemplate Kameshvari. May 
that Wetness direct. 

2. The Sun. Meditation: Red as coral, four faces with three eyes in each, holding 
cleaver, lotus, chakra, dart, noose, goad, rosary and skull. The left half of his 
body is that of his Shakti. On his head is a jewelled crown, and he wears a bright 

3. Hrim Hamsah to Martanda Bhairava with his Shakti Illumination, I give this 
offering, hail. 

4. The Lokapalas, 10 in number. 

5-8. The Yoginis, representing the seven dhatus, are in the SE, Kshetrapala who 
rules the place is in the NW, Ganesha is in the NW, the boy Vatuka is in the NE. 

9. Om Hrim to all the Elements who make all obstacles Hum Svaha. 

10. Aim Klim Sauh to the Astra Missile Phat! 

11. These are the three centres in the body, the Fourth pervades them all. 

12. Aim Klim Sauh I make the place of Maha Tripura Sundari's vessel of 


13. Vowels on the top line, Ka to Ta on left line, Tha to Sa on right line, Ha to 
Ksha in centre. 

14. Ha Sa Ksha Ma La Va Ra Yum to the Bliss Bhairava Vaushat. Sa Ha Ksha 
Ma La Va Ra Yim to the Wine Devi Vaushat. 

15. Aim Klim Sauh in Nectar, born from Nectar, the Nectar Devi, the Showerer 
of Nectar, Flood! Flood! with Nectar Svaha. 

16. Aim Speak! Speak! Utterer of Speech! Aim Klim Sauh with Moisture, 
Moisture Devi Moisten! Make, make great agitation! Klim Sauh. Make, make 
Liberation! Sauh. 

17. Om Hrim Hamsah That I Am Svaha. Aim Klim Sauh, Tripurasundari, 
Protect! Protect me! 

18. Hrim Klim Sauh to the seat of Devi Maha Tripura Sundari's Being Namah. 

19. Haim Hklim Hsauh to the Chakra Seat of Shri Mahatripurasundari Namah. 

20. Hsaum Hsklim Hssauh to the Seat full of All Mantra of Shri 
Mahatripurasundari Namah. 

21. Hrim Klim Blem to the seat of the Sadhyas and Siddhas of Shri 
Mahatripurasundari Namah. 

22. Aim Klim Sauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the heart hail. 

23. Aim Hrim Shrim to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the head Svaha. 

24. Aim Hrim Shrim to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the hair knot Vashat. 

25. Aim Hrim Shrim to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the Armour Hum. 

26. Aim Hrim Shrim to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the three Eyes Vaushat. 

27. Aim Hrim Shrim to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the Astra Missile Phat. 

28. Aim Klim Sauh I worship the padukas of Mahatripurasundari. 

29. Aim Klim Sauh I offer libation to the padukas of Mahatripurasundari. 

30. Half Moon: West to NE, turn round, return to West. Circular:Right hand 
extended, head bent. Staff: Rise, go back sane steps, fully prostrate. Eight 


Limbed: Touch ground with chin, mouth, nose, jaw, eye, ear cavity. 
Terrific: Touch ground with skull cavity. 

3 1 . These Yoginis are of a bright red colour, very beautiful, making the gestures 
dispelling anxiety and granting boons, with two other hands holding noose and 

32. See elsewhere for meditation details. 

33. They are red, restless with sexual desire. 

34. The Kala Shaktis wear red, are red in colour, and carry noose and good. 

35. They are of lovely symmetrical form with long hair. 

36. Very beautiful, wearing red, full of desire, with dishevelled hair, carrying 
bow and five arrows. 

37. They are white, dressed and adorned in white. 

38. White and clear like the autumnal moon. 

39. They are ruby, with four arms, holding book/rosary, curds, dispelling fear 
and granting boons. 

40. Aim Hrim Shrim Dram Drim Klim Blum Sah to the All Devouring Arrows, 
to the Arrows Namah. I worship and libate the padukas of the Arrow Shakti, 

41. Aim Hrim Shrim Dham to the All Deluding Bow hail. I worship and libate 
the padukas of the Noose Shakti. Hail. 

42. Aim Hrim Shrim Hrim to the All Subduing Noose hail. I worship and libate 
the padukas of the Noose Shakti. Hail. 

43. Aim Hrim Shrim Krom to the All Paralysing Goad hail. I worship and libate 
the padukas of the Goad Shakti. Hail. 

44. Aim Hrim Shrim the Vagbhava Section in the Fire Chakra at the Kamagiri 
Pitha, the Self of Mitrisha Nath, the Kameshvari Devi, the Self of Rudra, I 
worship and libate Her padukas, hail. 


45. Aim Hrim Shrim the Kamaraja Section in the Sun Chakra at the Jalandhara 
Pitha, the Self of Shashtisha Nath, the Vajreshvari Devi, the Self of Vishnu, I 
worship and libate that Shakti 'S padukas, hail. 

46. Aim Hrim Shrim the Shakti Section in the Moon Chakra at the Purnagiri 
Pitha, the Self of Oddyana Nath, the Bhagamalini Devi, the Self of Brahma, I 
worship and libate that Shakti's padukas, hail. 

47. Aim Hrim Shrim The Shri Root Section in the Brahma Circle at Oddyana 
Pitha, the Self of Charya Nath, the Shri Mahatripurasundari Devi, the Shakti 
with the Self of the Supreme Absolute, I worship and libate Her padukas, hail. 

48. Aim, in my rosary, in my great rosary, the form of all Shakti in which dwell 
the four aims (of mankind), bestow siddhi on me. 

49. Glaum may You make no obstacles in the rosary! 

50. Yam to the Yoginis, all letters of the Yoginis Hum Phat Svaha. 

51. Ksham etc. Lord of the Soil, take! Take the incense and light offering Svaha. 

52. Gam etc. to Ganapati, Boon Giver, Subdue All Living Things! Take, take the 
offering Svaha. 

53. Blom hail to Vatuka. Come here! Son of Devi, Vatuka Natha, wearing a 
garland of skulls, three eyed, fiery-faced, destroy! Destroy all enemies! Take! 
Take all the ritual accessory offerings together! Svaha. 

54. Spirits in the service of Kubera. 

55. Species of malignant demon. 

56. Flesh eating demon. 


Shri Shoshika Devi 

Thus she is the ultimate, unified Shakti; the Parameshvari, triple Tripura, the 
very self of Brahma, Vishnu and Isha; the being who is Jnana Shakti, Kriya 
Shakti and Iccha Shakti - Vamakeshvarimatam IV, 10-11 

Shoshika is the goddess of the leftovers. At the end of puja, or ritual worship, 
the remains of the offerings are cast into a fire and dedicated to this aspect of 
Tripurasundari. The aspect of Lalita called Shoshika consumes everything that is 
left. She is worshipped in the north-east in a circular pit, enclosed within a 
square. Other guardians of the intermediate directions consume specific 
elements (upacharas) in the puja. 

Chapter 20 of the Gandharva Tantra deals with her worship in detail. "Devi 
said: How is Parameshani Shoshika worshipped Shiva? What is the nature of 
this Mahadevi? Speak fully, Lord. 

"Ishvara said: I now speak of the very secret Devi Shoshika Sundari, the 
foremost Ucchishta Devi, Matangi, the bestower of all success. Devi, the Vidya 
gives all prosperity and removes all defects. Weakness and misfortune disappear 
in one who comes to this knowledge. By depending on this Vidya, O Devi, one 
may destroy the fixed, the mobile, the artificial and the bodily [afflictions]. This 
Vidya is a Mahavidya, the destructress of all sin, giving heaven, liberation, 
dominion and good fortune. If poor, one gains wealth, if a fool one becomes 
knowledgeable. Listen! I declare the mantra of Mahadevi accordingly. 
Pronounce Ucchishta then Chandali then Sumukhi and Mahapishachini, 
afterwards saying Hrim then Thah Thah (Svaha). Mahadevi, this mantra is the 
giver of all success. 

"Now I speak of her other mantra, very hard to get. Aim Hrim Shrim namo 
bhagavati Matangeshvari Sarvajanavashankari Svaha. This is the mantra giving 
all siddhi. 

"Deveshi, in the case of this Devi there are no defects, obstructions or restraints. 
There is neither limb nyasa or hand nyasa nor attendants with this devata. He 
who is rooted in this mantra becomes the celestial tree. I speak to you of her 
dhyana accordingly. Sitting on a corpse, wearing red garments, adorned with red 
jewels, resplendent with red gunja berries. In the first flush of youth, with high, 
swelling breasts, carrying a skull bowl and scissors, the form of supreme light. 

"Now I speak to you of her alluring manner of worship. Listen, Devi! Offer 
water for sipping and food immediately after. After giving bali using the root 


mantra, a sadhaka should then recite it many times. With the leavings he should 
do japa of she, the desired giver of success. Listen to what follows which gives 
results. Having done homa and oblation in the circle within a square with a 
bindu and a bhupura, the sadhaka should worship the mandala of the Devi using 
the root mantra. 

"There he should invoke the Devi who is the permanent form of fire. He should 
worship and do homa using milk, with mustard seed and rice. By reciting it 
1,000 times, he can subjugate a king. He should do homa using goat's flesh with 
honey and ghee. After 1,000 recitations, they become the givers of success." 
{Gandharva Tantra, XX. 1-25) 



/ have produced the five amnayas (traditions) from my five faces, those of the 
east, the west, the south, the north and the upper. These are the five amnayas 
and all five are renowned as paths to liberation -Kularnava III, 7 

Subhagodaya by Shivanandamuni, here translated in English for the first time, is 
a treatise which details briefly the daily worship (puja) of the Goddess or Devi 
called Lalita (She Who Plays), also known as Devi Mahatripurasundari (The 
Great Beautiful Lady of the Three Cities). 

This work deals mainly with the worship of the diagram (yantra) of that 
Goddess, which is an epitome of Humankind and the Universe. Shiva is pure 
Consciousness, that is to say the source of light, and Shakti is the mirror in 
which Shiva knows himself. The Devis or Shaktis within the Shri Yantra (see 
illustration above) are the Shaktis or Energies of Supreme Shiva, who is without 
attribute, and is Consciousness pure and simple. 

In the Bhavana Upanishad the relationship between the various sections of the 
Lalita Chakra and the functions and faculties of a human being according to this 
school are enumerated. 

There are said to be three great Lights within a human being. These are Sun, 
Moon and Fire, Sun is situated in the heart, Moon in the brain, and Fire in the 
genitals. These three are the Three Beautiful Cities, which collectively form the 
triple being of Lalita, When these three Lights fully shine, then Pure Shiva, who 
is the Fourth, is fully manifested. By a daily act of Will, the Universe's Creation, 
Maintenance and Dissolution takes place. 

Fundamental to this ancient tradition is the assumption that all that is the 
universe is also contained within the human body. Stars, planets, rivers, seas, 
Suns, Moons, even the smallest mote of dust, all these things which appear 
'outside' are also found 'inside'. The real act of oblation is the offering of the 
entire cosmos both active and subjective into the Fire of Pure Consciousness, 
This is the Bhairava-Mudra, in which there is Self Remembering simultaneously 
with looking outwards. 

Realisation is said to consist of the firm knowledge that there is no difference 
between worshipper and worshipped, between Guru, Mantra, Yantra and Shakti. 


The Number 21600 

This number is said to represent the breaths of a human being in a day of 24 
hours. There are said to be 10800 by day and the same number by night. These 
breaths constitute an unpronounced mantra called Ajapamantra, Sa being the 
Sun and Ha being the Moon. These Sun and Moon breaths represent the 
inhalation and exhalation of the Creator of the Cosmos, and from these two 
proceed all Cosmic variations. 

Lalita has 15 Nityas or Eternities — the mantras are declared in this work. Each 
of these 15 subsidiary or attendant Devis rules over a lunar day. The 16th or Full 
Moon day is Lalita Herself. Each of the Nityas is said to possess 1440 breaths 
(1440 x 15 = 21600). This number 21600 and its multiples and integers is of 
great importance in Shri Vidya. For example, the calculation of the places of the 
planets in Hindu sidereal astrology is obtained by referring to how much each 
planet has moved in the current Kali Yuga of 432000 years, it being assumed by 
the astrologers that all the planets started off at the beginning of the Yuga at 
degrees Aries. So too there are 108 beads in a Tantrika rosary, 108 dance 
positions, 108 worlds, 108 lesser divisions in the Zodiac (navamsa), 108 lingas, 
all mantras are to be recited 108 times, etc., etc. 

In the Zodiac there are 360 minutes, with 60 seconds in each, making 21600 
seconds. Like the human body the Zodiac is based on the division into Sun and 
Moon. All numbers based on 21600 such as 108, 54, 27, 36, 9 lead to an 
understanding of the yantra of Lalita. 

Letters of the Sanskrit Alphabet 

Lalita is also known as Matrika Devi, the Goddess of the Letters of the 
Alphabet. In Sanskrit there are 36 consonants and 15 vowels. In some 
arrangements of Her yantra these letters are to be found inscribed in the various 
triangles and petals of Shri Yantra. The combination of the 15 Vowels (the 15 
Nityas) and the consonants (the 36 Tattvas) produces all sound, all mantra, all 
vibration, all word, and all music. 

There are 8 letter groups in the Sanskrit alphabet. These 8 groups are personified 
as the 8 Little Mothers, worshipped all over India. The 9th group is Lalita 
Herself. She is beyond language and description. It is little realised 'that gods 
and goddesses do not have names, but instead are described. "She who Plays" 
(Lalita) is not the name of the red goddess, but merely one of Her 
characteristics. She is beyond Name and Form. 


In the first 12 verses (shlokas) of the Vamakeshvara Tantra is given a hymn to 
the Goddess as the Mother of the Letters: 

1. 1 bow to the Goddess made of mantra, who consists of the (51) Ganeshas, the 
(9) Planets, the (27) Lunar Constellations, the (6) Yoginis, the (12) Signs of the 
Zodiac, and the (51) Matrika-Seats. 

2. I bow to the great Matrika Devi, the Supreme Lady, who in Time is both a 
fraction of a second and the end of the Universe, the Destroyer and the Creatrix 
of Time. 

3. Who is the whole perfect measure of the letters of the alphabet, worshipped 
by the Sun, Garuda, the Moon, the God of Love, by Lord Shankar, the God of 
Fire, and by Vishnu. 

4. I worship the Devi of all Devis, the great Shri Siddha Matrika, whose letters 
of the alphabet, like moonlight, adorn the three worlds. 

5. Who is the great thread of the letters of the alphabet, from which is woven the 
three worlds, who extends from the top of the head to the base of the spine. I 
worship you, Siddha Matrika. 

6. Who is made up of the 1 1 adharas (in the body), the universe- seed, the source 
of the primordial triangle. From the top of the head to the base of the spine you 
are the Origin of the World. 

7. Who is the aggregate of the 8 letter-groups A-Ka-Ca-Ta-Ta-Pa-Ya-Sa, the 
primordial Source and Many Rayed Dweller in the centre of the heart. 

8. Unfolder of the letter I, essence of essences, Most Ultimate One, I bow to you 
Great Devi, form of the Utmost Bliss. 

9. The primordial One, of whom other gods and goddesses have no inkling. Who 
knows what and from where She creates? O Producer of Form and 

10. I worship You, the imperishable letter-form from A to Ksha, O Devi, 
Supremely Auspicious Being. You are the Expansion Mirror, the Maya of the 36 

11. The aggregate of the eight groups of letters, in whom the eight Little 
Mothers reside, I worship You, Great Lady of the eight siddhis which originate 
from the eight letter groups. 


12. Dwelling at the Auspicious Sacred Seats (Pithas) of Kamarupa, Purnagiri 
and Jalandhara, I bow to You Great Shree Tripura, the fourfold abode of the 

The Nine Nathas 

Natha means 'Lord', and is an epithet of Shiva. It is also the name given to a very 
old tradition of Yogis, the Natha Sampradaya. The founder of the line of Nathas 
is said to be Bhagavan Dattatreya, a legendary fantastic figure who combines in 
himself the beings of the Hindu trinity Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesha. 

Dattatreya is also very closely linked with the tradition of Shri Vidya. Perhaps 
the clearest link here is a work called Tripura-Rahasya, said to have been heard 
from Lord Datta by his disciple Parashuram. The latter is also said to have been 
the author of the Kalpasutras, a condensed account of the rituals and wisdom of 

In Tantrarajatantra, reference is made to the Nine Nathas, legendary Gurus of 
the Kadi line of Shri Vidya. The Nath Sampradaya is also said to consist of nine 
sub- sects, presided over by nine Gurus — the Navanaths. 


Lalita has three forms as a young girl (Bala-Sundari), as a Mother (Sundari the 
Beautiful), and as a crone (Tripura-Bhairavi). This grouping relates to the 
Moon's phases and to the flow and cessation of blood. Bala creates, Sundari 
maintains, and Bhairavi destroys. Thus Lalita resumes in Her Triple Form the 
three gunas or threads from which is woven the rich tapestry of the Cosmos. 

Fifteen Syllable Vidya 

Vidya is feminine of mantra. Lalita has various forms of mantra, the most 
popular seeming to be the vidya of 15 syllables which runs Ka E I La Hrim, Ha 
Sa Ka Ha La Hrim, Sa Ka La Hrim. This is a mantra with three sections which 
correspond to Moon, Sun and Fire. There is said to be a secret 16th syllable 
which is the Goddess Herself. This vidya is called Kadi (Ka etc.) because of its 
initial letter. The Kadi doctrine deals with involution of the yantra, the Hadi 
vidya with evolution. These 15 syllables correspond to the 15 Kalas of the 

If you refer to the pages on Shri Puja and the Bhavana Upanishad as well as the 
Shri Yantra figure above and the page on the Nine Mandalas of the Shri Yantra, 
this text becomes much easier to follow. 



In whom creation, maintenance and dissolution have their essence, the fivefold 
one, ever recurring, ever shining and fortune. 

At morning, remember the guru with two arms and two eyes, peaceful, 
bestowing boons and removing fear, seated on the top of your head on a white 

Meditate on the root vidya from the Muladhara to the Brahmarandhra. Taking 
up your position, assume a steady posture during the period that the sun takes to 
rise above the horizon. 

Meditating long on yourself as peaceful, free of evil, meditate that the effulgent 
circle of the sun diffuses around your body. 

A mantrin, while bathing, should take water with both hands and pour it over his 
head. Using the triple vidya, he should purify the water and sip three handfuls. 

Offering three kinds of oblation and again sprinkling water on his body, the 
devotee should make three offerings to the sun and cast the water in its 

After meditating on the king of chakras, with the Devi at its centre, in his heart, 
a devotee should repeat the vidya 108 times. 

Then the pure saint, with the vidya in his heart, concentrating inwardly, should 
enter the place of worship. There, facing eastwards, wearing the best sort of 
valuable clothes and gems, he should draw the king of the chakras on the ground 
using vermilion. 

Alternatively, he may draw the chakra on a gold, silver or copper plate. 
Beforehand, he should set it on a pedestal and use red sandalwood to make it. 

The chakra unfolds five shaktis and four fires. When it is correctly made, a 
devotee should collect his thoughts. 

The earthsquare, the sixteen petalled lotus, the eight petalled lotus, the fourteen 
triangles, the two sets of ten triangles, the eight triangles and the middle (are) the 
bewilderer of the three worlds chakra, the fulfiller of all hopes chakra, the all 
agitating chakra, the giver of all prosperity chakra, the accomplisher of all aims 
chakra, the all protecting chakra, the all disease-destroying chakra, the chakra 
giving all power, the chakra of all bliss with the last being at the centre, the 


foremost of the nine chakras. The chakra attribution is of nine kinds 
accompanied with ritual worship. 

A devotee should place perfume, flower and grain at the right side and place a 
light between himself and the chakra. 

He should worship the king of chakras, and then, using the full vidya, should 
worship the formation of the three cities together with three bija mantras. 

After doing drying up, burning and bathing with the letters of air, fire and water, 
he should perform three pranayamas and then remember the vidya in the heart 

He should wash his hands thrice with the mantra Am Am Sauh. Using these 
three seed mantras he should wash the backs of the hands first and the palms 
last, doing the hand purification according to rule. 

Thus by this circle of 3 seed mantras he should wash the back of the hand first 
and the palm last. He should do this purification of the hands according to 

Hrim Klim Sauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari's Atma Seat Obeisance. 

Haim Hklim Hsauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari's Chakra Seat Obeisance. 

Hsaim Hsklim Hssauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari's All Mantra Seat Obeisance. 

Hrim Klim Blem to Shri Mahatripurasundari's Sadhya Siddha Seat Obeisance. 

Using these four mantras he should create the Seat of the Goddess of the 
Chakra, of the mantras, and of the devatas, using flowers. 

Aim Klim Sauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the heart Namah. 

Aim Klim Sauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the head Svaha. 

Aim Klim Sauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the forelock Vashat. 

Aim Klim Sauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the armour Hum. 

Aim Klim Sauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the three eyes Vaushat. 

Aim Klim Sauh to Shri Mahatripurasundari in the missile Phat. 


He should put these six mantras on the six limbs using the third and thumb 
finger according to injunction. 

Hrim Shrim am am im im um um rm rm lm lm em aim om aum am ah Blum to 
Vashini, devata of speech, obeisance. 

Hrim Shrim kam kham gam gham nam Klhrim to Kameshvari, devata of speech, 

Hrim Shrim cam cham jam jham nam Nvlim to Modini, devata of speech, 

Hrim Shrim tarn tham dam dham nam Vlum to Vimala, devata of speech, 

Hrim Shrim tarn tham dam dham nam Jmrim to Aruna, devata of speech, 

Hrim Shrim pam pham bam bham mam Hsvlyum to Jayini, devata of speech, 

Hrim Shrim yam ram lam vam Jhmryum to Sarveshvari, devata of speech, 

Hrim Shrim sham sham sam ham lam ksham Kshmrim to Kaulini, devata of 
speech, obeisance. 

He should place these in the head, forehead, brow, throat, heart, navel, genitals 
and the adhara. 

He should make on his left side a four square circle. Using pure water, scent, 
etc., he should worship there using the Root Vidya. 

He should put down a Conch Shell full of water mixed with various things, and 
with perfume and flowers. He should do the 6-fold worship again. 

Having made the four square circle in the east, he should place inside it. a 
triangle, a circle and a hexagon. By separating the bijas and placing them in the 
three triangles, he should worship using perfume and flowers, the bijas, the 
circle and the six lines. 

There is Fire, Moon, Sun, Atma, Buddhi, the Sacred 3. The devotee should do 
homage again offering with the remainder. 


Inside this the wise man should draw three lines with the seed mantras on the 
womb-like triangle, A-Ka-Tha being on the first of the three lines, Sa-Ha-Ksa 
being contained within. 

Outside the circle he should do homage by the mantra Hamsa in the 6 lines. He 
should worship the eastern part first by means of the 6 root mantras and the 6 

Having sprinkled the offering again, he should recite the root Vidya 7 times He 
should worship first with perfume and flowers, and then should show incense 
and light. He should sprinkle the King of Chakras with the water within, and 
should do other acts of worship, after which all becomes filled with the Vidya. 

Then within the heart lotus the supreme Kala vibrates, the supreme Shiva free 
from the action of the three. 

Having meditated long on the auspicious Self which is the Life, by the 
Trikhanda Mudra he should draw the breath upwards. 

The Vidya goes out on that effulgent Light, and should be placed in the middle 
of the chakra inside the central triangle, inside the Auspicious Seat of Yoga. 

Hsraim Hsklrim Hssauh to the Auspicious Mahatripurasundari Obeisance. 

Resembling the effulgence of the morning sun with four arms, and three eyes, 
holding the greatly auspicious noose, goad, bow and arrows. 

Thus having meditated he should worship the Goddess with ritual accessories, 
with incense, light and food, and lastly he should display mudra. 

Again he should give oblation 3 times to the root Vidya, then he should also 
worship in three ways the Eternities which are the days of the lunar fortnight. 

Beginning with the 1st day to the Full Moon he should worship the devis in their 
order. He should worship each of them singly, then he certainly gains supreme 
good fortune. He should meditate on the three great lines which are the places of 
the vowels. He should worship those letters which are the 15 lunar days, then the 

Am Aim Klim Saum Am Im Um Yam Ram Lam Vam Sam, Lady of Lust, Giver 
of the Fruit of Desire and Sexual Passion, Most Pure Subduer of All, Creatrix of 
World Agitation Hum Hum Hum Aim Dram Drim Klim Blum Sah Hsauh Klim 
Aim, I worship the lotus feet of the Eternity called Lady of Lust. (Kameshvari). 


Am Aim Yoni Enjoyer, Yoni Lady, Hollow Yoni with Garlanded Yoni, be in the 
Yoni, in the Secret Yoni, in the Yoni Womb, Dweller in the Yoni, the Yoni 
Subduer in the form of Yoni, O wet Eternity with Yoni as your true form, all 
Yonis to me come! Conferring boons with effusion of Semen, with beautiful 
Discharge. With your Wet Yoni with Wet Juice Moisten! Make Wet! With no 
shame, with Yoni parting, tremble! Throw into Confusion! All Pure Yoni 
Goddess Aim Blum Jem Blum Bhem Blum Mom Blum Hem Blum Hem. 
Subdue all wet Yonis for me! Strim Hrblem Hrim. I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Eternity called Bhagamalini. 

Im Om Krom Bhrom Krom Crom Krom Chrom Jhrom Svaha, I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity called Fearful. 

Um Om Hrim to the Dweller in Fire Obeisance. I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Eternity called Dweller in Fire. 

Um Hrim Phrem, O Wet Eternity with Intoxicating Juice Svaha, I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity called the Great Lady of Supreme 

Rm Om Hrim to the one who makes Shiva Her Messenger, obeisance. I worship 
the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity called She who makes Shiva Her 

Rm Hrim Hum Khe Ca Che Ksah Strim Hum Ksam Prim Phat. I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity called The Quick One. (Tvarita) 

Lm Aim Klim Sauh I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity called 
Beautiful In Group Woman. (Kulasundari) 

Lm Dram Drim Klim Blum Sah I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the 
Eternity called The Eternal One. (Nitya Nitya) 

Em Hrim Phrem Srum Bhrum Klim Am Hrim Krom, O Eternity with 
Maddening Juice Hum Phrem Hrim, I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the 
Eternity called Sapphire Banner. (Nilapataka) 

Aim Jhmryaum I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity called The 
Victorious One. (Vijaya) 

Om Svaum I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity called All 
Auspicious. (Sarvamangala) 


Om obeisance to the All Powerful Goddess of the Gods who withdraws all 
Creation into Herself, Origin of the Veda, Kindling One, Kindle ! Kindle ! Cause 
to Catch Fire ! Cause to Catch Fire ! Hrim Hrim Hum Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram 
Ram Ram Hum Phat Svaha. I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity 
called Garlanded in Flame. 

Am C Kraum I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Variegated Eternity. 

Ah (root mantra) I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity called 

The mantrin should then worship the feet of the Guru on the inside of the lines 
in 3 ways. He should worship the supreme Ones, the Most Supreme Ones, and 
the Ultimately Supreme Ones numbering 7,4 and 8. He should also worship 
unknown gurus, these all being the Very Self of the Sacred Trinity. Hrim Shrim 
should precede the mantras. 

He should collectively worship according to the precepts and injunctions of the 
Vidya. On the outside of the chakras the highest worshippers should meditate 
and worship the collective (groups of) Yoginis. 

(These are) the Patent Ones, the Hidden Ones, the More Hidden Ones, the Ones 
Concealed by Tradition, the In Group Ones, the Ones without Origin, the Secret 
Ones, the Ones who are Very Secret, and the Holy Secret Ones. He should 
meditate on these 9 kinds of Yoginis with their names and attributions. 

(The forms of Tripura ruling these are) Tripura, Lady Tripura, The Beautiful 
One, the Indweller, the Auspicious One, the Garlanded One, The Perfected One, 
and The Mother, followed by Mahatripurasundari. This 9 fold Vidya attribution 
which gives Enjoyment and Liberation is to be hidden and kept very secret. 

He should worship the respective Lady of the Chakra worshipping from the 
outside to the inside, and should reveal the mudras in their order. 

Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Siddhi Making One as 
Small as an Atom; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Siddhi 
enabling Levitation; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious Lotus feet of the 
Siddhi of Infinite Expansion; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of 
the Siddhi giving Power to Create; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Siddhi giving Dominion over the Entire Creation; Hrim Shrim I 
worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Siddhi giving Freedom of Will; Hrim 
Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Siddhi giving the Power of 


Enjoyment; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Siddhi giving 
the Power of Desire; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the 
Siddhi giving the Power to Reach Everywhere; Hrim Shrim I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Siddhi giving all Sexual Desire. 

Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of Brahmini; Hrim Shrim I 
worship the auspicious lotus feet of Maheshvari; Hrim Shrim I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of Kaumari; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet 
of Vaishnavi; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of Varahi; Hrim 
Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of Indrani; Hrim Shrim I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of Chamunda; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of Mahalakshmi. 

The devotee should worship 4 in the western and the other doors in their order. 
Then 4 should be worshipped from the north-west corner in order and then 
above and below. He should worship Brahmi and the others in a clockwise 
direction (and the remaining) four in the intermediate points. 

Am I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity-Kala called the Attractor 
of Sexual Desire; Am I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala 
called the Attractor of Intellect; Im I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the 
Eternity Kala called the Attractor of the Ego Nature; Im I worship the auspicious 
lotus feet of the Eternity Kala called the Attractor of Sound; Um I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala called the Attractor of Touch; Um I 
worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala called the Attractor of 
Sight; Rm I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala called the 
Attractor of Taste; Lm I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala 
called the Attractor of Smell; Lm I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the 
Eternity Kala called the Attractor of the Screen of Mind; Lm I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala called the Attractor of Steadiness; Em, 
I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala called the Attractor of 
Memory; Aim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala called the 
Attractor of Name; Om I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala 
called the Attractor of Semen; Aum I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the 
Eternity Kala called the Attractor of the Self; Am I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Eternity Kala called the Attractor of Amrita; Ah I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Eternity Kala called the Attractor of the Body. 

He should worship these Eternity Kalas starting from the western petal first in 
reverse order. 


Kam Kham Gam Gham Nam I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess 
called Love's Flower; Cam Cham Jam Jham Nam I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Goddess called Love's Girdle; Tarn Tham Dam Dham Nam I worship 
the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess called Sexual Love; Tarn Tham Dam 
Dham Nam I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess ,called Smitten 
with Sexual Love; Pam Pham Bam Bham Mam I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Goddess called Love's Line; Yam Ram Lam Vam I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess called Love's Excitement; Sham Sham Sam 
I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess called Love's Goad; Lam 
Ksam I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess called Love's Garland. 

The first set of four he should worship in the East etc. in order. The second set 
should be worshipped in this eight petalled lotus from the South East direction 
in (clockwise) order. 

Hrim Shrim, I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Energy called the Agitator 
of All; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Energy called 
Melter of All; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Energy 
called Attractor of All; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the 
Energy called Gladdener of All; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet 
of the Energy called Deluder of All; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Energy called Paralyser of All; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious 
lotus feet of the Energy called Devourer of All; Hrim Shrim I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Energy called Subduer of All; Hrim Shrim I worship 
the auspicious lotus feet of the Energy called Charmer of All; Hrim Shrim I 
worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Energy called One Who Makes All 
Wanton; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Energy called 
One who Gives All Desired Things; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Energy called She Who Gives All Prosperity; Hrim Shrim I worship 
the auspicious lotus feet of the Energy called One Consisting of All Mantra; 
Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Energy called One 
Destroying Duality. 

These fourteen Energies (Shaktis) are placed in the 14 triangles and give all 
success. The devotee should worship them from the East first in an 
anticlockwise direction. 

Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess called the All 
Success Giver; I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess called the 
Giver of Wealth; I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess called the 
Beloved of All; I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess called Creator 
of all Auspiciousness; I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess called 


the Giver of All Sexual Desire; I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the 
Goddess called Liberator from All Unhappiness; I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Goddess called Destroyer of All Duality; I worship the auspicious 
lotus feet of the Goddess called Alleviator of All; I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Goddess called Beautiful in All Limbs; I worship the auspicious lotus 
feet of the Goddess called the All Great Good Fortune Bestower. 

In these triangles are placed these Goddesses who give all things. The devotee 
should worship them from the west direction first in anticlockwise order. 

Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess Knowing All; 
Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess Consisting of All 
Energy; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess Giving 
All Dominion; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess 
Consisting of, All Knowledge; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of 
the Goddess Destroying All Ailments; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious 
lotus feet of the Goddess Who is the Basis of All; Hrim Shrim I worship the 
auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess the Destroyer of All Evil; Hrim Shrim I 
worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess Consisting of All Bliss; Hrim 
Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess Who is the true Form 
of All Protection; Hrim Shrim I worship the auspicious lotus feet the Goddess 
Who is the Giver of the Fruit of Every Desire. 

One should worship these great fruit-giving Devis in the inner wheel of ten 
triangles from the western triangle first in an anticlockwise direction. 

In the centre of this (last) wheel the devotee should worship, in anticlockwise 
order, Vasini and the other eight (saying) I worship the lotus feet (according to 
the method prescribed for their nyasa). 

Dram Drim Klim Blum Sah Yam Ram Lam Vam Sam obeisance to the All 
Piercing Arrows; Dham Tham obeisance to the All Deluding Bow; Am Hrim 
obeisance to the All Subduing Noose; Krom obeisance to the All Paralysing 

One should worship the bow and the other weapons in the west and the other 

I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Kameshvari, the Goddess who is 
Rudra's Shakti, who is the Vagbhava Syllable in the Fire Chakra, who is centred 
at the Sacred Seat (Pitha) of the Mountain Kamagiri, who is the very Self of 
Mitrisha Natha. 


I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Vajreshvari, the Goddess who is of 
Vishnu's Shakti, who is the Kamaraja Syllable in the Sun Chakra, who is centred 
at the Sacred Seat called Jalandhari, who is the true self of Shashtisha Natha. 

I worship the auspicious lotus feet of the Goddess Bhagamalini, who is the 
Shakti of Brahma's, who is the Shakti syllable in the Moon Chakra, who is 
centred at the Sacred Seat of the Mountain Purnagiri, who is the True Self of 
Oddiyana Natha. 

I worship the auspicious lotus feet of Shri Mahatripurasundari Devi, who is the 
Shakti of the Supreme Brahman, who is centred at the Sacred Seat of Oddiyana, 
who is the True Self of Charya Natha. 

The devotee should worship Kameshvari etc in the corners of the central triangle 
with their bija mantras, preceded by giving incense, light, mudra and wine 
oblation, and also offering food, ghee, white cake, and so on. 

In a devoted mood, reciting the root mantra, (the devotee) should pay homage 
and should meditate on Kamakala, which is the heart of great good fortune. 

Making a square with a circle inside on his left side, the man should place the 
flower there. 

Aim to the diffusion circle Aim. 

The devotee should place there the offering, the food and the water, and should 
worship there. Reciting the syllables thrice, he should then give meat offering 

Om Hrim to those Creating Obstacles, to all the elements Hrum Svaha. 

Having bound these using the Khechari Mudra, he should proceed according to 
injunction and should give offerings to the Guru he is devoted to. Then meditate 
that all the various Shaktis are dissolved in the root Shakti, to which they owe 
their origin. 

He should worship the root (shakti) as consisting of his Self in the form of 
Consciousness. Then he should smell the flower and abandon it on pure ground 
or in water. 

Through the request of pupils for this ancient powerful Vidya, I Shivananda 
Mahayogi, uttered this Subhagodaya. 


Shri Varahi Devi 

One text of the Prapanchasara Tantra says that the Parabindu divides into two 
parts, of which the right is Bindu, the male, Purusha or Ham, and the left 
Visarga the female, Prakriti or Sah, making the combined Hamsah. Hamsah is 
the union of Prakriti and Purusha and the universe is Hamsah - The Garland of 
Letters, Sir John Woodroffe 

Varahi is a bali (animal sacrifice) devata, one of Lalita's receivers of offerings. 
Her four alchemical elements (dhatus) are known as the four fires. Kurukulla's 
alchemical elements are known as the five Shaktis. The combination of these 
five Shaktis (downward pointing triangles) and four fires (upward pointing 
triangles), forms the complex figure in the centre of the Shri Cakra. Varahi's 
four are the twelve (three x four) sun kalas, twelve sidereal constellations. 
Kurukulla's five triangles are the fifteen (five x three) Kalas of the moon, fifteen 
lunar days. The complete individual grows within nine months to be born as a 
Shri Yantra or plant. The flowering of this plant is shown by the 24 petals of the 

Both Varahi and Kurukulla are connected with, but separate from the sixteen 
Nityas (fifteen days of the bright fortnight plus Lalita herself). 

The following chapter of the Tantrarajatantra, translated into English for the 
first time, is devoted to the practice of the Varahi mantra and contains a number 
of prayogas. As with all other prayogas, a sadhaka is only qualified (adhikari) to 
perform these rites if (a) she or he is initiated, and (b) does the daily puja of 
Tripurasundari. Further, the commentary (not translated here) shows that there is 
a number of elements which have to be taken account of when performing 
prayogas. These include visualisation skills and also a knowledge of astrology 
(Hindu, sidereal version), before the rites will be successful. 

The Tantrarajatantra says that Varahi is the "father form", while Kurukulla is 
the "mother form" of the devata. 

Tantrarajatantra Chapter XXIII 

Now in the Sixteen Nitya (Tantra) the rules, the worship and the limbs relating 
to the Angabhuta known as Panchami are spoken of. I speak of puja of the 
siddha mantra, worship through ritual and meditation, and sacrifice and yantras, 
giving all the siddhi that is desired. 


After doing limb nyasa using seven, two sets of six, ten, seven and seven parts 
of the mantras, a person should worship according to rule in a chakra consisting 
of triangle, circle, hexagon, invoking her with Hrim. 

One should worship using the 110 letters of the Varahi vidya in the centre (of 
the yantra), and should then worship the attendants in the left, right and centre 
triangles who are Krodhini, Stambhini and Chanda-Ucchanda, placing Hrim in 
front of their respective names and Namah behind. 

In the six angles starting from the east and going anticlockwise one should 
worship Brahmi and so forth. Then in the circles one should worship 
Mahalakshmi Panchami. After giving animal sacrifice using the sixteenth 
syllable, and after one has worshipped all with ritual accessories, one should 
recite the vidya 1000 or 100 times. Daily, one should do sacrifice using pure and 
good sesamum, rice or ghee, then the vidya becomes successful. 

A sage of controlled senses, able to perform sacrifice, should do puja at the 
twilights. He should recite the vidya 100,000 times — giving oblation of one 
tenth part of that. After doing the worship and invocation, the mantra becomes 
successful — if one is compassionate, devoted to Guru, contented, patient and of 
peaceful mind. 

If one should perform a rite for a specific application devotedly, it gives 
whatever is desired immediately, giving the favour and grace of Devi to the 
tireless practitioner. 

One should meditate on Devi as having the body of a girl from the throat down, 
resembling the colour of molten gold, her large, fiery and tawny haired head 
being that of a sow. 

She has three eyes and seven arms which hold a discus, a conch, a hook, a lotus, 
a noose, and a club. She shows the (mudras) dispelling fear and granting boons. 
One should think of her as being comfortably seated on the shoulders of Garuda. 
In daily worship one should meditate on her and her Shaktis in this way. 

In particular applications, one should recall Devi and her Shaktis as being seated 
on lions, tigers, elephants, horses or Garudas. According to that which one 
wishes to achieve in specific meditations, one should think of her as having a 
dark green, red, yellow, black or purple body. 

In rituals for subjugation, one should think of Panchami, and recite (her mantra) 
as red, surrounded by hosts of beautiful red Shaktis. In worship for paralysing, 
one should meditate on her as yellow, wearing yellow garments, garlanded with 


yellow flowers, wearing yellow jewels, and smeared with yellow unguent, 
surrounded by yellow Shaktis. 

In a difficult pass one should think of her as being seated on a great bodied lion 
which is of a dark green colour, surrounded by Shaktis similar to herself, 
offering recitation of the Vidya to the central Shakti. If the mantrin should 
meditate on these as his own self, he attains an exalted and wealthy status. 

If one should remember Devi, with her Shaktis, on lions, Garudas, elephants, 
Sharabhas, horned creatures, dogs, boars, buffaloes and serpents with terrific 
teeth and cruel and crooked claws, whether assailed by thieves, unexpected 
attacks, by anxieties about being injured, by pisachas, by bhutas, by pretas, away 
from one's family, or in a defile in the wilderness, or on lonely roads, or in a 
forest, or on a mountain peak, then in this way one becomes free from anxiety 
and happy. 

Whether in wars, in fearful situations, in falls (from status), or attacked by 
chariots and swords, or in difficult passes, having remembered her one becomes 
supremely victorious. 

If one should meditate, in states of terrible war, on Devi as blue, with a terrible 
appearance, seated on an elephant, holding a nail, a knife, a sword, an arrow, a 
club, a sickle, and a discus in her right hands: and with her left making the 
threatening gesture, and holding shield, skin, bow, damaru, plough, noose and 
conch: surrounded by Shaktis like her; the Shaktis seated on elephants, 
assaulting all the missiles of the enemy, and attacking them with maces, all 
moving about, like red banners, then (the enemy) flees, pursued by swarms of 
blue Shaktis howling terribly, berserk. 

One should meditate on Devi in the form previously described during great 
wars, as being in the centre of the sun's orb, her body marked with red tridents. 
If one should then recite the vidya with concentrated mind, after invoking her 
into water via breath during rituals for a period of seven days, one's enemy will 
die from fever. 

If one should think of Devi, surrounded by her attendants, and recite her vidya, 
for three days, in water, as breaking in pieces the body of one's enemy, which is 
then consumed by fierce jackals and corpse eaters and flesh eating dogs, then, 
after remembering her, one gains deliverance. 

If one should think of Devi as of an effulgent purple colour, and do recitation 
(visualising her) cleaving the target's tongue, heart and feet, one slays enemies. 


If, after remembering Devi as of a yellow colour, one should worship according 
to the rule, the enemy experiences harm, anxiety in speech, becomes 
disputatious, and is conquered in battle. 

After thinking of this Devi as seated on Garuda, and surrounded by numbers of 
Shaktis seated on Garudas, and the skies being thick with an array of hosts of 
unseated Garudas, then one becomes victorious over an army of enemies at a 
distance, instantly putting them to flight. With her eight arms holding axes, and 
being surrounded by a circle of Shaktis, one may destroy the army of enemies in 
a battle immediately. 

If a person should meditate on Varahi as having dishevelled hair, as being seated 
on a throne in a jewelled pavilion, each of her hairs swarms of Shaktis holding 
clusters of red arrows, and each of which sits on hyenas, lions, tigers and 
monkeys and bears and Garudas and horses, each holding tridents as previously 
declared, the hostile host is destroyed by one's own ruler. 

Parameshvari, if a sadhaka should worship the yellow effulgent one, the 
paralyser, with yellow flowers, using the previously declared tongue method, for 
a number of days, the array of the enemies in battle and whatever else one 
desires are paralysed instantly. 

If one should worship the red Devi at midnight, using red flowers, one may 
enslave or kill all enemies, this is certain. 

If one should do puja for the number of days previously spoken of, using black 
flowers according to rule, at the time of one's enemy's death, in a visha nadi, a 
tortured yoga, or in a death or destruction yoga, then Yama lords it over the 

If one should worship using dark green flowers, and various sorts of scents, it is 
said one becomes very wealthy, free of disease, true minded, a lord. One lives 
happily on earth for 100 years, it is said. 

One should do sacrifice at night in a rectangular fire pit, using turmeric mixed 
with food, sesame, beans, rice, yellow flowers, yellow fruit, palmyra leaves, 
together with the letters of the target's name, using ghee. Then one may paralyse, 
as previously stated. 

At midnight, the enemy may be felled if one sacrifices in fire in a yoni shaped 
pit, offering meat in a devoted way, and sacrificing for the number of days 
previously stated. One may kill the enemy by disease, sword, dart, serpent, 


water, flame, elephant, madness, enemies, whirlwind, the fall of a tree or wall, 
consumed by enemies. The enemies are unable to withstand this prayoga. 

Meditating on her as being purple, and seated on a bird, having the nail and the 
rest of the weapons, during (the rising of) Virgo or Scorpio, offering goat flesh 
and much ghee, the rays of light from the sacrifice slay the person, who is 
consumed by hot raging fever. 

If one should meditate on her as being effulgent as the dawn sun, offering (in 
sacrifice) various red substances, ghee, blossoms of the Kimshuka, Bandhuka, 
Japa, Pala, Karavira, Kahlara, lotus, Patala, Ashoka and various other red 
blossoms, then one becomes equal to a king, very wealthy, having great power, 
wafted by fly whisks and shielded by parasols, of this there is no doubt. 

If, at night, one should meditate on her as red, with her nail and other weapons, 
and sacrifice in the various cardinal points starting with the east for the number 
of days previously stated, then one may subjugate man, woman or the whole 
world. One becomes famous, and lives on earth for a long period like Laksmi. 

One should draw a bhupura, inside of this placing the name of the target. On the 
outside one should write the earth letters. Making an eight petal lotus, one 
should write the six syllables of the mantra outside of the two circles. 

Outside the hexagon one should write the earth letters, placing mantras inside 
the angles. As previously stated, one should write (letters) on the rim of the two 
circles, placing outside of the bhupura, in an anticlockwise direction, the letters 
of the matrika. 

After doing this, one should then write in reverse the letters of the root vidya. If 
one should worship in this, one may paralyse the enemy and the world. 

One should write the letters of the mantra six by six in a nine angled design 
surrounded by two circles, outside of this there being an octangle design 
surrounded by two circles, all surrounded by a bhupura. Within the octangles, 
and outside of the circles, and in the bhupura, one should write the matrikas both 
clockwise and anticlockwise. One should write the name (of the target) in all the 
directions, and should worship the eight armed form, Auspicious One. 
Parameshvari, employing the method previously stated, the target becomes 

One should draw three circles, outside them putting a hexagon surrounded by 
two circles. This is to be enclosed in an octangular design, surrounded by a 
circle. In order one should place the letters of Earth, one in each of the (six) 


angles, outside this writing them in three groups of three. In the centre one 
should also write the name (of the target). After reciting, the sadhaka should 
give animal sacrifice to obtain whatever is desired. 

One should draw a triangle enclosed in a circle, outside of this drawing a 
hexagon, another hexagon, an octangular figure, and another hexagon. From the 
edges to the middle one should write the naksatra, tithi and day (of the target's 
birth), also writing all the matrika letters. In the centre of each of the seven 
mandalas, one should write the matrikas in clockwise order. One should place 
Hrim in the centre. If one should worship this one obtains all siddhi. One may 
command bhutas, pretas, pishachas and so forth, causing disease, attacks by 
elephants and other wild beasts, or pacifying them. 

One should draw an octangular design, placing in each of the corners, sides and 
centre a trident shape. Outside this, write the letters of the mantra together with 
the matrikas, placing in the middle compartment the named one wishes to 
paralyse. One should draw it on birch bark, on cloth, on copper or on stone. One 
should always worship it using flowers, beautiful perfumes, then doing 
recitation of the mantra. Doing the ritual at the twilights, one may always obtain 
whatever is desired. 

Draw a square, inside of this making sixteen lines, extending from the cardinal 
and intermediate points, which together makes a figure of 225 compartments. 
One should make a symmetrical figure of 28 compartments by rubbing out other 
of the angles made. In the central three compartments one should write the target 
and the name of the act the sadhaka wishes to accomplish. Starting from the 
east, one should write the letters of the mantra. 

This great yantra is called the vajra, giving the totality of whatever is wished for 
by sadhakas. Wherever this is placed, whether written on copper, stone and so 
forth, there can never dwell thieves, bhutas, diseases, ailments, serpents, bad 
planets, pretas, pisacas and so forth. In whichever house this yantra is placed on 
the junction points of the homestead design (vastu), there can never exist black 
magic, ailments or disease. 

From the north west, south east, south west and north east, draw 12 lines, 
making a vajra figure of 21 compartments. In the centre of these one should 
draw the name of whatever is to be accomplished, outside of this, in a clockwise 
direction, writing the letters of the alphabet. After worshipping this and drawing 
it, whether it be on copper, stone or whatever, disease, bhutas, planets, madness, 
pisacas and the kleshas of the mind can never enter or afflict one. 


If one should draw the previously described vajra in a golden colour within the 
centre of a pot, filling it with milk, and if one should invoke Devi in this liquid, 
and worship her therein, oblating and offering flowers and reciting the vidya 
3000 times, subsequently bathing oneself with the liquid, and drinking some of 
it, then one becomes free of bodily kleshas, and lives happily on earth. 

After making a circle measuring four finger breadths, one should put outside of 
it, two measures by two measures, eleven compartments. From each of these 
two by two measures one should draw lines. After putting tridents in the 
compartments, one should surround the whole with the letters of the alphabet, 
and placing the named in the centre. After indrawing the Devi via breath into 
this yantra, and worshipping from the east clockwise, then reciting the vidya, 
one may achieve whatever is desired. 


Varahi, also known as Panchami, or the Fivefold One, bears the relation of 
"father" to Lalita, although pictured as a Devi. The mother form is Kurukulla 
Tara. Varahi gives four fires and Kurukulla five Shaktis — this forming the 
complex shape in the centre of Shri Yantra. 

Varahi is fivefold as water, fire, earth, air and aether. These elements are related 
to lion, tiger, elephant, horse and Garuda — the bird-human vehicle of Vishnu. 
Their colours are dark green, red, yellow, black and purple. 

Her mantra vidya of 110 letters is: Aim glaum aim namo bhagavati vartali 
vartali varahi varahi varahamukhi varahamukhi andhe andhini nama rundhe 
rundhini namah jambhe jambhini namah mohe mohini nama stambhe stambhini 
namah sarvadushta pradadushtanam earvesham sarvabak chitta 
chakshurmukhagatijihvastambham kuru kuru shighram rashyam kuru kuru aim 
glaum thah thah thah thah hum phat svaha. 

Her yantra is a triangle enclosed within a circle, a hexagram surrounding this, 
and the hexagram itself being surrounded by two circles. 


Yakshinis and Chetakas 

At heart a Shakta, outwardly a Shaiva, in gatherings a Vaishnava, in thus many 
a guise the Kaulas wander on earth - Kaula Upanishad 

The Indian tradition has a multitude of spirits occupying the three worlds. Many 
are the servants ofLord Shiva, and some have been pressed into the tantrik 
cause, as spirits which can, for example, solve all your financial problems or 
find that perfect lover. 

Below are some examples. The chetakas appear in Tantrarajatantra, an 
encyclopaedic work of Shri Vidya. There is an English abstract in print, 
prepared by Sir John Woodroffe. However, Sir John plays down the multitude of 
magical operations contained in this work and in the commentary in print. 

The yakshas (male) and yakshinis (female) look after treasure hidden in the 
earth, and come under the dominion of the god Kubera. 

The 64 Chetakas 

These are servitors of Shiva, akin to elementals. Once drawn into service, they 
require nourishment. You have to keep this work force happy if you take them 

They are (1) Amorous One (2) Vehicle (3) Heroic One (4) Separator (5) Angry 
One (6) Poet (7) Roaring like a Lion (8) Very Noisy (9) Beautiful Necked One 
(10) Ape (11) Deceitful One (12) Cat Eyed One (13) Dancing Cat (14) Boy (15) 
Bird (16) Originator (17) Peacock (18) Auspicious (19) Terrific (20) Tiger 
Faced (21) 6 Faced (22) Elephantine (23) Mover in the Night (24) Seizer of 
Poison (25) Lupine (26) Buffalo (27) Elephant Faced (28) Beast Face (29) 
Elephant Mouthed (30) Tremulous (31) Lucky Gemstone (32) Plaything (33) 
Lion Faced (34) Eagle (35) Heron Faced (36) Crow (37) Horse Faced(38) Great 
Bellied One (39) Big Bodied (40) Deformed (41) Beautiful (42) Restless (43) 
Cockerel (44) Sorcerer ( 45 ) Love's Lassitude ( 46 ) Deluder (47) Long Shanked 
(48) Gross Toothed (49) 10 Faced One (50) Beauteous (51) Damager (52) Cruel 
One (53) Bear (54) One with Bristles (55) Fraud (56) Crooked One (57) God of 
Death (58) Servant (59) Cheat (60) Rogue (61) Devourer (62) Fear Inspirer (63) 
Accomplished One (64) One who goes Anywhere. 

The Thirty-six Yakshinis 

A Yakshini is a species of supernatural entity, in some ways similar to a fairy. A 
Yaksha is male, a Yakshini female. In the Uddamareshvara Tantra 36 of these 


beings are described, together with their mantras and ritual prescriptions. By 
soliciting their aid various powers are said to accrue to the devotee. 

Uddamareshvara is a name of Lord Shiva and means "Lord of the 
Extraordinary". His retinue consists of a host of disreputable beings, fiends, 
ghouls, &c. which he has forced into his service. 

Yakshas and Yakshinis are attendants or servitors of Lord Kubera, who has all 
the earth's treasure within his domain. A similar list is given in the Tantraraja 
Tantra. There it is said that they are givers of whatever is desired, each having 2 
arms, fair bodies, wearing fine clothing of different hue, young and wanton, 
adorned with garlands of flowers, smeared with orpiment. Alternative mantras 
from this tantra are formed as follows: Hrim Shrim Nityadrave Mada .... (name 
of Yakshini) Shrim Hrim. 

(1) Vichitra (The Lovely One): The mantra is to be inscribed on the bark of a fig 
tree, and should be recited 20,000 times. A sacrifice into a fire should be made 
of white flowers with wine and clarified butter. The mantra reads Om Vichitre 
Chitrarupini Me Siddhim Kuru Kuru Svaha. She bestows all desires. 

(2) Vibhrama (Amorous One): The mantra should be written with dust from the 
cremation ground at night time. One should be naked. She should be worshipped 
with ghee, camphor and the mantra should be recited 20,000 times. Om Hrim 
Vibhrame Vibhramangarupe Vibhramam Kuru Rahim Rahim Bhagavati Svaha. 

(3) Hamsi (Swan): The rite should be performed at the outskirts of a city. Lotus 
leaves and ghee should be used, and the mantra is to be recited 10,000 times. 
Om Drim Namo Hamsi Hamsavahini Klim Klim Svaha. She reveals the 
whereabouts of buried treasure, and grants an unguent with which one may see 
through solid objects. 

(4) Bhishani (Terrifying): The ritual is to be performed at the junction of 3 
paths. The mantra is to be recited 10,000 times. Camphor and ghee are to be 
used as the offering. Om Aim Drim Mahamode Bhishani Dram Dram Svaha. 

(5) Janaranjika (Delighting Men): The mantra is to be recited at night 20,000 
times under a Kadamba tree. Camphor, sandalwood and ghee are employed. Om 
Hrim Klim Janaranjike Svaha. She gives great good fortune and happiness. 

(6) Vishala (Large Eyed): Inscribe the mantra on tamarind bark. Recite it 10,000 
times. Offer 100 leaves, flowers and ghee. Om Aim Hrim Vishale Stram Strim 
Ehyehi Svaha. She gives the alchemical elixir. 


(7) Madana (Lustful): Recite the mantra 10,000 times next to the gateway of a 
pure king. Offer with the sap from jasmine flowers. Om Hrim Madane 
Madanavidambini Alaye Sangamam Dehi Dehi Shrim Svaha. She gives a cure- 
all pill. 

(8) Ghanta (Bell): Recite 20,000 times before a beautiful bell. Om Aim Drim 
Purim Kshobhaya Prajah Kshobhaya Bhagavati Gambhirasvapne Svapne Svaha. 
She gives the ability to enchant the world. 

(9) Kalakarni (Ears Adorned with Kalas): Recite the mantra 10,000 times, offer 
100 blades of grass together with wine. Om Hum Kalakarni Thah Thah Svaha. 
Success in recitation brings a shakti. 

(10) Mahabhaya (Greatly Fearful): Seated on a pile of bones, do the ritual in a 
shmashana. Recite the mantra 10,000 times. Success brings protection from 
disease. Om Drim Mahabhaye Prem Svaha. She gives freedom from fear and the 
secret of alchemy, also freeing one from grey hair and signs of old age. 

(11) Mahendri (Greatly Powerful): Success in the mantra means the person is 
able to fly and go anywhere. Perform it near a Tulsi plant when a rainbow is 
present. Om Hrim Mahendri Mantrasiddhim Kuru Kuru Kulu Kulu Hamsah 
Soham Svaha. One obtains Patala Siddhi. 

(12) Shankhini ( Conch Girl ): Perform at sunrise, using Karavira flowers and 
ghee. Success brings fulfilment of any desire. Om Hrim Shankhadharini 
Shankhadharane Dram Drim Klim Shrim Svaha. 

(13) Chandri (Moon Girl): Her sadhana is as (12) above. 

(14) Shmashana (Cremation Ground Girl ): A pure person should recite her 
mantra 40,000 times in the shmashan. He or she should be completely naked, 
smeared with ash of the cremation ground. She gives treasure, destroys 
obstacles, and one is able to paralyse folk with a mere glance. Om Dram Drim 
Shmashana Vasini Svaha. 

(15) Vatayakshini: The rite should be done at night, at the junction of 3 paths, 
next to a fig tree. She gives the secrets of alchemy, celestial gems and clothes. 
The mantra is to be recited 30,000 times. She also gives a divine and magical 
unguent. Om Shrim Drim Vatavasini Yakshakulaprasute Vatayakshini Ehyehi 

(16) Mekhala (Love Girdle): If the practitioner goes to the root of Madhuka tree 
in blossom on the 14th day of the lunar cycle, and pronounces her mantra, a 


magical unguent is obtained which accomplishes all. Om Drim Hum 
Madanamekhalayai Madanavidambanayai Namah Svaha. 

(17) Vikala: Recite the mantra for 3 months. Be in a hidden place. She yields the 
desired fruit. Om Vikale Aim Hrim Shrim Klim Svaha. 

(18) Lakshmi (Wealth): Make a fire in one's own home, using red scented 
blossoms and reciting the mantra 10,000 times. She gives Lakshmi Siddhi, the 
secrets of alchemy, and heavenly treasure. Om Aim Hrim Shrim Lakshmi 
Kamaladharini Hamsah Soham Svaha. 

(19) Malini ( Flower Girl ): Recite the mantra at a crossroads 10,000 times. She 
gives Khadga Siddhi, which means being able to stop any weapon. Om Drim 
Om Namo Malini Stri Ehyehi Sundari Hams Hamsi Samiham Me Sangabhaya 

(20) Shatapatrika (100 Flowers ): The mantra should be recited in a wood. A 
fire is to be made, and 100 blossoms cast therein. Om Drim Shatapatrike Dram 
Drim Shrim Svaha. 

(21) Sulochana (Lovely Eyed): Recite 30,000 times on a riverbank. A fire is to 
be built, and ghee and other pleasant substances offered. This gives Paduka 
Siddhi, enabling one to travel at great speed through the aethers. Om Dram Klim 
Sulochane Siddhim me Dehi Dehi Svaha. 

(22) Shobha: Wear red clothes. Repeat the mantra on the 14th day. The Devi 
gives the power of full enjoyment and the appearance of great beauty. Om Drim 
Ashoka Pallava Karatale Shobhane Shrim Kshah Svaha. 

(23) Kapalini (Skull Girl): She gives Kapala Siddhi. Recite her mantra 20,000 
times, offering boiled rice and various other pleasant foods. She gives the power 
to go anywhere in the aethers in one's sleep, and also to go to any great distance 
away. Om Kapalini Dram Drim Klam Klim Klum Klaim Klaum Klah Hamsah 
Soham Sa Ka La Hrim Phat Svaha. 

(24) Varayakshini: At a riverbank recite her mantra 50,000 times. A fire is to be 
lit and ghee and other fragrant things cast into it. Om Varayakshini Varayaksha 
vishalini Agaccha Agaccha Priyam me Bhavatu Haime Bhava Svaha. 

(25) Nati (Actress): Having gone to the root of a fine Ashoka tree, make a circle 
using sandal oil. One is to be naked, pronouncing the mantra 1000 times, and 
offering the rasa to the yakshini. The worship is done at night. The Nati gives 


hidden treasure, an alchemical unguent, and the power of mantra yoga. Her 
mantra is Om Drim Nati Mahanati Rupavati Drim Svaha. 

(26) Kameshvari: For a month the mantra is to be recited 3000 times at each 
twilight. Make a fire, cast into it flowers, incense, food &c. At midnight the 
Devi comes and has intercourse, and gives gems, clothes, secrets of alchemy and 
the alchemical substance itself. Om Hrim Agaccha Agaccha Kameshvari Svaha. 

(27) (28) The text states these have already been described. (?) 

(29) Manohara (Fascinating): On a beautiful pleasant river bank the mantrin is to 
make a circle using sandal oil. The mantra is to be pronounced 10,000 times. 
Om Hrim Sarvakamada Manohare Svaha. 

(30) Pramoda (Fragrant): For one month rise at midnight, pronounce the mantra 
1000 times. Om Hrim Pramodayai Svaha. 

(31) Anuragini (Very Passionate): Using kumkum draw an image of a beautiful 
Devi on birch bark. Invoke the Devi therein, worshipping her with flame, 
incense, flowers &c. Then recite the mantra 1000 times. Do this for one month 
at the 3 twilights. At midnight She comes, showering the sadhaka daily with one 
thousand golden coins. Om Anuragini Maithunapriye Yakshakulaprasute Svaha. 

(32) Nakhakeshi: Go naked and with dishevelled hair to the side of the house, 
and for 21 days do the worship at night. At midnight she comes, yielding her 
fruit. Om Hrim Nakhakeshike Svaha. 

(33) Bhamini: Recite her mantra for 3 days whenever there is an eclipse from 
the period of contact to departure of the eclipse. She yields a very wonderful 
unguent. If smeared with this, then women are allured and one finds treasure. 
Om Hrim Yakshini Bhamini Ratipriye Svaha. 

(34) Padmini is said to be included in (35) below. 

(35) Svarnavati: Make a circle using sandal oil at the root of a fig tree. Offer 
food and so forth to the Yakshini. Recite the mantra every day for a lunar 
month. Recite the mantra 1000 times daily. Then she comes, giving Anjana 
Siddhi. Om Hrim Agaccha Agaccha Svarnavati Svaha. 

(36) Ratipriya (Fond of Love): Make an image of a golden Devi on cloth, 
writing one's own name inside. The image should be very alluring, covered in 
beautiful jewels. Offer red flowers, recite her mantra 1000 times for 7 days. The 
25th day after the worship starts she comes at night. Om Hrim Ratipriye Svaha. 


The Yogini Hridaya 

She (Shakti) by whose transformation this creation in the form of objects, words, 
plexuses, and bodies exists, should of necessity be known by us - 
Varivasyarahasya, I, 5 (Adyar Edition) 

The Yogini Hridaya (Heart of the Yogini), also known as Nitya Hridaya and 
Sundari Hridaya, is said to be one part of the entire work known as the 
Nityashodashikarnava (Ocean of the 16 Nityas), the other part being often 
separately treated as the Vamakeshvara Tantra. 

The work, which abounds in elliptical terms and code words peculiar to the Shri 
Vidya tradition, is divided into three chapters corresponding to three parts 
(sanketa) described as chakra (or yantra), mantra and puja, or worship. 

The Yogini Hridaya belongs to what is known as the Kadi line of Shri Vidya. 
Kadi means "the letter Ka etc", and refers to the fifteen lettered mantra which 
starts ka e I la hrim, which is referred to elsewhere on this Web site. 

The well known Shri Yantra is considered to be one with the mantra and with 
the devata (goddess in this case) known as Shri Shri Mahatripurasundari. 

The edition followed here was published as volume seven in the Sarasvati 
Bhavana Granthamala, with an English introduction by Gopinath Kaviraj, and 
which also includes two important commentaries known as the Dipika by 
Amritananda and the Setubhanda of Bhaskararaya. It will be helpful to look at 
this page on Tripurasundari to understand the following abstract, as well as 
consulting the other documents on Shrikula, referred to from the home page of 
this site. 

First Patala 

The chapter opens with Devi addressing Bhairava. In the first verse she says that 
in this Vamakeshvara Tantra are many concealed things and she wishes to know 
the rest which has not yet been revealed. There are 86 verses (shlokas) in this 

Bhairava answers by saying he will reveal the Supreme Heart of the Yogini, 
which is to be obtained orally, and should not be discriminately revealed. 

Shakti is fivefold and refers to creation, while Shiva is fourfold and related to 
dissolution. The union of the five shaktis and the four fires creates the chakra, 
that is the Shri Yantra. Shiva and Shakti are Fire and Moon bindus and the 


contact of both causes the Hardhakala to flow, which becomes the third bindu, 
Sun, and which gives rise to the Baindava or first chakra. It is this first chakra, 
the bindu at the centre of the yantra, which gives rise to the nine triangles or 
navayoni, and these, in turn, cause the nine mandalas of the yantra to blossom. 
This Baindava or central bindu, is Shiva and Shakti, also referred to in the texts 
as the light and its mirror. 

The ultimate Shakti, by her own will (svecchaya) assumed the form of the 
universe, first as a pulsating essence, consisting of the vowels of the alphabet. 
The bindu of the yantra corresponds to dharma, adharma and atma, which also 
corresponds to matri, meya and prama. The bindu is situated on a dense, 
flowering mass of lotus, and is self-aware consciousness, the Chitkala. The 
quivering union of Shiva and Shakti gradually creates the different mandalas of 
the Shri Yantra, which correspond to different letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. 

Kamakala subsists in the Mahabindu (great bindu) and is without parts. The text 
refers to nine different and successively subtle forms of sound which are beyond 
the vowels and consonants of the 50 (51) letters of the alphabet. 

She is every kind of Shakti, including Iccha (will), Jnana (knowledge) and Kriya 
(action), and exists as four pithas or sacred centres, represented by the letters 
Ka(marupa), Pu(rnagiri), Ja(landhara) and Od(ddiya). These seats exist in the 
microcosm between anus and genitals, at the heart, in the head, and in the bindu 
above the head, and have the forms of square, hexagon in a circle with a bindu, a 
crescent moon and a triangle, and are of the colours yellow, purple, white and 

These also correspond to three lingams, which are known as Svayambhu, Bana, 
Itara and Para, which are situated in the pithas and are coloured gold, bhanduka 
red, and like the autumn moon. 

The vowels, which are divided into three, are situated in the svayambhu lingam, 
the letters Ka to Ta are associated with the bana lingam, the letters Tha to Sa are 
in the kadamba region, while the entire circle of the letters, the matrika, are 
associated with the para or supreme lingam, which is one with the essence of the 
bindu of the yantra, and is the root of the tree of supreme bliss. 

These different elements of speech, which are the kulakaula, are also the 
sections of the mantra. Further, these sections correspond to the waking state, to 
dream, to deep sleep and to the turiya or fourth. Beyond this is the absolute 
supreme which by its own will emanates the cosmos and is also one with the 
cosmos, the union of measure, measurer and the measured, the triple peaks, and 


the very self of Iccha, Jnana and Kriya shaktis. The universe has the appearance 
of emanating from the unmanifest Kameshvara and Kameshvari. 

The noose which Tripurasimdari holds is Iccha, the goad is Jnana, and the bow 
and arrows are Kriya shakti, says Bhairava. By the blending of the refuge 
(Shiva-Kameshvara) and Shri (Shakti-Kameshvari), the eight other mandalas of 
the Shri Yantra come into creation. The remaining shlokas (verses) of this 
chapter deal with the creation of the other mandalas of the yantra. 

Second Patala 

Bhairava tells the Devi he will describe the mantra. Knowing this, a vira (hero) 
becomes like Tripura herself. There are 85 verses in this chapter. 

According to the text, each of the nine mandalas of the Shri Yantra have a 
particular form of Tripurasundari presiding over them, and a particular vidya 
appropriate to each. According to the text, these forms are Tripuradevi, 
Tripureshvari, Tripurasundari, Tripuravasini, Tripurashri, Tripuramalini, 
Tripurasiddhi, Tripurambika, and the ninth is Mahatripurasundari. Verse 12 says 
that they should be worshipped in this order in the nine chakras (that is 

The mantra may be understood in six different ways: bhavartha, sampradaya, 
nigama, kaulika, sarvarahasya, and mahatattva. 

The text then proceeds to outline the significance of these different ways to 
understand the meanings (artha). The eighteenth century sadhaka, Bhaskararaya, 
delineates the meaning of these in his work Varivasyarahasya, which is 
available with the Sanskrit text and an English translation in the Adyar Library 
series. This work also includes a detailed chart which shows the threefold 
divisions of Tripurasundari as well as the nine subtle forms of speech beyond 
the letters of the alphabet. 

Bhavartha is related to the fifteen lettered Kadi vidya mantra. Removing the 
three Hrims from the mantra shows the essential nature of Shiva and Shakti. The 
goddess embodies the 36 tattvas and is identical with this mantra. This meaning 
shows the essential sameness of devi, mantra and the cosmos. 

The sampradaya meaning shows the identity of the mantra with the five 
elements of aether, air, fire, water and earth; the fifteen letters of the mantra and 
the senses of sound, touch, image, taste and smell. Says Bhaskaraya: "As there is 
no difference between the cause and its effect, between the thing signified 
(vachya) and the word which signifies the thing (vachaka), and between 


Brahman and the universe, so also the universe and this Vidya are identical [in 
relation to each other]." 

The Nigarbha meaning shows the identity of the supreme devata with the guru, 
and because of the grace of the guru, one's own self. 

The Kaulika meaning is that she, the supreme goddess, rays out her attendant 
shaktis one with her. So, she is Iccha, Jnana and Kriya; the fire, the sun and the 
moon; and the nine planets and other celestial phenomena, as well as the objects 
of the senses, the senses, and other constituent parts which are also present in the 
microcosm. In this form she is Ganeshi, and a nyasa representing her in this way 
can be found elsewhere on this site. Again, her shaktis and her are inseparable 
and this is represented by her inseparability from the Shri Yantra. 

The secret (Rahasya) meaning of the mantra is the union of the Devi with the 50 
letters which represent 16 Moon kalas, 12 Sun kalas, and 10 Fire kalas, 
corresponding to the Kulakundalini, which extends from the base chakra, shoots 
through the brow chakra and then beyond, causing a flow of amrita or nectar to 
drench the body. She sleeps, she wakes, and she sleeps again, and once more, is 
identical with mantra, yantra, guru and the shining own self. The supreme 
absolute is one with Shiva and Shakti. The tattva meaning is that she is one with 
the 36 tattvas, also with the letters of the alphabet and the forms they take. 
Breath, as well as time, is the form of the Devi Tripurasundari. The practical 
application of these concepts is to be learned at the feet of the guru, himself or 
herself one with the goddess. 

Third Chapter 

This is called the Puja Sanketa, or section relating to worship in three senses 
described as para, parapara and apara. This, much longer chapter, has 206 

The first consists of identity with the supreme absolute, the second of meditation 
(bhavana), while the third is related to ritual worship. (See Subhagodaya). 

This chapter mostly deals with nyasa, and starts with the sixfold nyasa related to 
ganeghas, grahas (planets), the 27 nakshatras, the six yoginis of the bodily 
dhatus, the rashis or 12 sidereal constellations and the pithas, a translation of 
which may be found on Internet. There is also a description of this six fold nyasa 
in the Gandharva Tantra. 

It follows with the Shri Chakra nyasa, from the Nityotsava, which, once more, is 


Other nyasas, including hand nyasa are outlined, along with the daily puja of 
Tripurasundari and descriptions of the attendants (avarana devatas) to be found 
in the nine mandalas of the yantra. 

The chapter closes with an admonition that the details of this tantra should be 
concealed and not revealed to anyone who is not initiated into the practice. 

Shiva Mahimna Stotra 

Hymn of Shiva's Greatness 

By Sage Pushpadanta 

If the praise of Thee by one who is ignorant of the extent of Thy greatness be 
unbecoming, then the praises of even Brahma and others are inadequate for 
Thee. And if all remain unblamable by praising Thee according to their 
intellectual powers, then even this attempt on my part to compose a hymn is free 
from any blemish. Hill 


Thy greatness is beyond the reach of mind and speech. Who will praise That 
which even the Vedas describe with trepidation by the method of 'not this, not 
this'? - How many qualities does That possess? And can be perceived by whom? 
Yet to the form taken later, whose mind and speech do not turn? II2II 

O Brahman! Does the praise of even Brihaspati cause any wonderment to Thee 
who art the Author of the nectar like sweet Vedas? O Destroyer of Tripura, the 
thought that by praising Thy glories I shall purify my speech has prompted me 
to undertake this work. 1 13 1 1 

O Giver of boons, in refutation of Thy Divinity which is described by the three 
Vedas, which creates, preserves and destroys the world, and which is divided 
into three bodies according to the different qualities, some thick headed persons 
offer arguments, which are pleasing to the ignorant but in reality hateful. II4II 

To fulfill what desire, having what body with what instruments, support, and 
materials does that Creator indeed create the three worlds? This kind of vain 
argument with regard to Thee, whose Divine nature is beyond vociferous, is to 
the delusion of mankind. II5II 

O Lord of Gods, can the worlds be without origin though they have parts? Is 
creation of the worlds possible without a Creator? Who else but God can begin 
the creation of the worlds? Because they are fools, they raise doubts as regards 
Thy existence. II6II 

There are different paths of realization as enjoined by the three Vedas, Sankhya, 
Yoga and Pasupata doctrine and Vaishnava sastras . Persons following different 
paths - straight or crooked according as they consider that this path is best or 
that one is proper due to the difference in temperaments, reach Thee alone just 
as rivers enter the ocean. II7II 

O Giver of boons, a great bull, a wooden club, an axe, a tiger skin, ashes, a 
human skull and the like - these are Thy sole possessions, though by the mere 
casting of eyes Thou gave the gods great treasures which they enjoy. Indeed, the 
mirage of sense - objects cannot delude one whose delight is in the Self. II8II 

O Destroyer of Pura some say that the whole universe is eternal, while others 
say that all is transitory. Yet others maintain that all these are eternal and non- 
eternal - having different characteristics. Bewildered, as it were by them I do 
not feel ashamed to praise Thee. Indeed this garrulity indicates my audacity. 1 191 1 

O GirTsa, Brahma trying above and, Vishnu trying below failed to measure Thee 
who took the form of a Pillar of Fire. Afterwards when they praised Thee with 


great devotion and faith, Thou revealed Thyself to them of thy own accord, 
indicating whether Thy worship can go without bearing result. II 1011 

O Destroyer of Tripura, that the ten-headed Ravana, after riding the three worlds 
of any trace of enemies, remained with arms eager for fresh war is due to the 
fact of his having great devotion to Thee devotion which prompted him to offer 
his heads as lotuses to Thy feet. Ill 111 

When Ravana extended the valour of his arms whose strength was obtained by 
worshipping Thee - to Kailasa, Thy abode, Thou moved the tip of Thy toe, and 
he did not get a resting place even in the nether world. Verily, when affluent the 
wicked becomes deluded. II 1211 

O Giver of boons, that Bana, who had the three worlds at his command, put to 
shade the wealth of Indra is not to be wondered at - he being the worshipper of 
Thy feet. What prosperity does not result from bowing down the head to Thee? 


O Three eyed one, it is not that the dark stain on the throat of Thee who drank 
poison as an act of favor to gods and demons at their being panicky at the 
threatened destruction of the universe all on a sudden, has not beautified Thee. 
Even deformity is admirable in one who is given to freeing the worlds of fear. 


O Lord, the God of love whose arrows do not fail anywhere in the world of 
gods, demons and men but are always successful became simply an object of 
memory by looking upon Thee as an ordinary god. For an insult to the self 
controlled does not conduce to good. II 1511 

In order to save the world when Thou danced, the earth wondered at the striking 
of Thy feet, whether it would not come to sudden end; so felt the spatial region 
along with the planets, oppressed by the movement of Thy iron-cube like arms; 
and the heaven became then miserable - its side being struck by Thy waving 
matted hair. Ah, Thy very mightiness is the cause of trouble. II 1611 

The river which pervades the sky and whose foams look all the more beautiful 
because of stars and planets, seems no more than a drop of water when on Thy 
head. That again has turned the world into islands surrounded by waters. And by 
this should be inferred how vast is Thy divine body. II 1711 

When Thou wanted to burn the three cities which were but a piece of straw, the 
earth was Thy chariot, Brahma Thy charioteer, the great mountain Meru Thy 
bow, the sun and the moon the wheels of Thy chariot, Vishnu Thy arrow why 


this paraphernalia? The Lord is not dependent on others - He was playing with 
things at his command. II 1811 

O Destroyer of Tripura, Hari rooted out his lotus eye to make deficiency when 
one flower was missing in his offering of a thousand lotuses to Thy feet; this 
great devotion transformed into a discus is alert in protecting the three worlds. 

The sacrifice being destroyed Thou ever remainest the connecting link between 
the sacrificers and the fruit of the sacrifice. When does the destroyed sacrifice 
bear fruit, if not accompanied by the worship of the Lord? Therefore knowing 
Thee to be the giver of fruits and putting faith in the Vedas, people become 
resolute about the performance of sacrifical rites. 1 1201 1 

Thou Giver of refuge, even the sacrifice where Daksha, the Lord of creation 
expert in sacrifices was the sacrificer, Rishis were priests, gods were 
supervisors, was destroyed by Thee though Thou art bent upon giving fruits of 
the sacrifices. Surely the sacrifices cause injury to the sacrificers in the absence 
of devotion. 1121 II 

O Lord, the fury of Thee who became a hunter with a bow in hand has not as yet 
left Brahma though, keenly pierced by Thy arrow and terror stricken, he has fled 
to the sky. II22II 

O Destroyer of Tripura, O Giver of boons even on seeing in front the god of 
love, bow in hand burnt like a straw in a trice by Thee, if Parvatl proud of Her 
beauty thinks that Thou art under Her fascination, because She was allowed to 
occupy half of Thy body on account of austerities, ah, surely the young women 
are under delusion. 1123 II 

O Destroyer of the God of love, O Giver of boons, Thy play is in cremation 
grounds, Thy companions are the ghosts, Thou besmearest Thy body with the 
ashes of burnt bodies and human skulls are Thy garlands all Thy conduct indeed 
is thus full of evil. But Thou conduces to the great good of those who remember 
Thee. II24II 

Thou art indeed that unspeakable truth which the Yogis realize through 
meditation on the Self, on controlling the breath according to the scriptural 
directions, and realize which they shed tears of thrilling joy and swimming as it 
were in a pool of nectar, enjoy inner bliss. 1 125 1 1 

The wise hold this limiting opinion about Thee - Thou art the Sun, Thou art the 
Moon, Thou art the Fire, Thou art the Air, Thou art the Water, Thou art the 


space, thou art the Earth and Thou art the Self. But we do not know that thing 
which Thou art not. II26II 

O Giver of refuge, with the three letters A, U, M indicating the three Vedas, the 
three states, the three worlds and the three Gods, the word OM mentions Thee 
separately. United by the subtle sound the word OM collectively mentions Thee 
- Thy Absolute Transcendent State. II27II 

O Lord, Bhava, Sarva , Rudra, Pasupati, Ugra, Mahadeva, Bhlma, and Isana - 
these eight names are mentioned even in the Vedas. To Thee who art beloved 
and effulgent I bow down. II28II 

O Lover of solitude, my salutations to Thee who are very near as also very far, 
far away. O Destroyer of the god of love my salutations to Thee who art the 
minutest as also the largest. O Three eyed One, my salutations to Thee who art 
the oldest as also the youngest. This is my salutations to thee who art all as also 
transcending all. 1 1291 1 

Salutations to Brahma in whom Rajas preponderates for the creation of the 
universe, salutation to Rudra in whom Tamas preponderates for the destruction 
of the same. Salutation to Vishnu in whom Sattva preponderates for giving 
happiness to the people, Salutation to Siva who is effulgent and beyond the three 
attributes. II30II 

O Giver of boons, why is my ill-developed mind subject to misery and where is 
Thy Divinity - eternal and possessing infinite virtues? Though terror stricken 
because of this, I am forced by my devotion to offer this hymn at Thy feet. 113 111 

O Lord if the blue mountain be the ink, the ocean the ink-pot, the branch of the 
heavenly tree be pen, the earth the writing leaf, and by taking these if the 
Goddess of Learning writes for eternity, even then the limit of Thy virtues will 
not be reached. II32II 

The best of the Gandharvas, Pushpadanta by name, composed in great devotion 
this beautiful hymn of the Lord, who is worshipped by demons, gods and the 
best of sages, whose praises have been sung who has got the moon on His 
forehead and who is attributeless. II33II 

The person who with purified heart and in great devotion always reads this 
beautiful hymn to Siva becomes like Siva after death in the abode of Siva, and 
while in this world gets much wealth, long life, many children as also fame. II34II 


There is no God better than Siva, there is no hymn better than the Hymn on The 
Greatness of Siva, there is no sacred word better than the name of Siva, there is 
nothing better to be known than the real nature of spiritual teacher. 1135 II 

Getting initiation into the spiritual life, charity, austerity, pilgrimage, knowledge 
of the scriptures the performance of sacrificial rites - these do not give one- 
sixteenth part of the merit that is got by reciting the Hymn on the Greatness Of 
Siva. ||36|| 

The Lord of Gandharvas, Pushpadanta by name is the servant of the great God 
who has the crescent moon on His forehead. Fallen from his glory due to the 
anger of the Lord, he composed this very beautiful Hymn on the Greatness Of 
Siva to regain His favor. ||37|| 

After worshipping Siva, who is adored by Gods and who grants heaven and 
liberation, if one with single minded devotion and folded palms reads the 
unfailing hymn composed by Pushpadanta, one goes to Siva, being worshipped 
by Kinnaras. II38II 

This unparalleled, sacred hymn composed by Pushpadanta and describing the 
glory of God is all very fascinating from start to finish. 1 13 91 1 

This hymnal worship is offered to the feet of Siva. May the ever - propitious 
Lord of Gods be pleased with me at this. II40II 

O Lord, I do not know the true nature of Thy being - of what kind Thou art. Of 
whatever nature Thou mayest be, O Great God to That my salutation again and 
again. 1141 II 

The person who reads this hymn once, twice or thrice is glorified in the abode of 
Siva, being freed from all sins. ||42|| 

If a person learns by heart, reads or keeps in the home this hymn, which came 
out of the lips of Pushpadanta and which destroys sins and is dear to Siva, Siva 
the Lord of creation becomes very pleased. 1 143 1 1 

Here ends the Hymn on the Greatness of Siva composed by Pushpadanta. 


Contemplative Sexuality 

Maithuna is the central axis around which most of the Tantra Yoga metaphysics 
turns and it is a frequent topic in religious hindu sculpture and art. 

Missionaries, people from the Occident and even hindu men influenced by the 
occidental culture regard these works of art to be pornographic and claim that 
sexual yoga is a perverted and degraded form of oriental spirituality. 


But scholars with high qualifications established the irrefutable truth that these 
images are not pornographic at all, but represent in a symbolical way a 
metaphysical doctrine and a sacred act. 

Maithuna has therefore nothing in common with sexual orgies. It symbolises the 
eternal union of Spirit and Nature and epitomizes the fulfilment of the 
contemplative love or the spiritualized sexuality. 

The dominant idea of the Maithuna rite and of its Taoist equivalent is that sexual 
love can become a profound meditative worship in which the participants 
become living embodiments of the Divine. 

Maithuna implies also a transmutation of the sexual energy that is generated, i.e. 
a transformation of its attributes. 



It is well known that Tantra Yoga uses a complex symbolism of the subtle 
human anatomy. The spinal column represents the axis of life, having its roots in 
the Underworld and its branches in Heaven. 

The base of the spinal tree is the site of The Serpent Power, the symbolic image 
of the divine power (vitality) manifested in Nature and sleeping under the spell 
of Maya. 

Sexual Yoga consist of the awakening of the Serpent and of its controlled ascent 
from the roots of the spinal tree to the branches. This process defines the 
spiritual enlightenment and the final liberation of the human Self. 

When the Serpent stays at the base of the spinal tree, it manifests as sexual 
energy; when moving upward, it is called Kundalini; when at the top of the tree, 
it manifests as spirit. 

During the Maithuna rite, the Serpent is awakened and raised, being eventually 
directed toward the contemplation of the Divine embodied in woman and man. 

The two lovers sit facing each other, the man in full lotus posture (padmasana), 
the woman sitting in his lap and wrapping her legs around his waist and her 
arms around his neck in a state of ecstatic surrender. 

The Tibetan name of this position is YAB-YUM, which means "the Mother- 
Father". This posture is obviously static: the couple remains motionless and 


prolongs the embrace so that the energetic exchange is passive and receptive 
rather than active and demanding. 

Nothing special is done to arouse the sexual energy: it is permitted to follow its 
natural flow, without being seized and exploited by the will. 

However, the mind and the senses are not permitted to jump randomly, but are 
consciously yet effortlessly directed toward experiencing "that which is" (the 
immediacy of the present experience). 

Both Tantric and Taoist traditions emphasize the necessity for both lovers to 
control and refine the sexual energy (orgasm without ejaculation ) and to remain 
in an undemanding state of mind, not using the discriminating reason but relying 
on the combined forces of the body, the soul and the spirit as a whole. 

For us the importance of these ideas reside less in technical details and more in 
their psychological value. These ideas represent a highly evolved attitude toward 
relationship, sexuality and life. 

If these ideas would be assimilated by the modern civilisation and put to work, 
they would contribute unexpectedly to clarify our confusions related to marriage 
and sexuality. 



The profound meaning of the sexual Yoga cannot be understood unless we 
understand the basic principles of Tantra and Taoism. 

The Taoist doctrine is based upon the idea of being in harmony with "TAO" (the 
Supreme Principle). It is "man-in-profound-and-conscious-relationship-with-his- 
environment". This vision opens the senses and thus reveals the contemplative 
side of the sexual experience. 

This is called dhyana in Tantra. Both Tantric Yoga and Taoist Yoga stress the 
importance of controlling the breathing, because the rhythm of breathing 
determines the expansion of perception. The crucial importance of breathing is 
one of the important keys for understanding this approach. 

The perfect control of breathing (Pranayama) is attained when its rhythm is 
spontaneously stopped without resulting in the disappearance of life. This is 
done by letting the breath flow in and out freely, without any interference, but 
with a keen and continuous awareness of the process. 


The breath starts to slow down to such a degree that the movements of 
inhalation and exhalation are almost imperceptible: the breathing seems to be 

The way we breathe defines the way we experience and lead our lives. This 
imperceptible, immobile breathing defines a non-capturing attitude towards life 
(WU-WEI), a detached non-action in the sense this term is defined in Bhagavat 
Gita: action with no ego-involvement. 

The immobilisation of breathing leads to the disappearance of the mind-patterns 
(VRTTI-S), which leads to the immobilisation of the orgasm. Yet the 
meaningful idea both for breathing and for orgasm is not "immobilisation", but 
"not being aware of" (in the sense of being totally effortless). 

Just as the contemplation of breathing slows it down almost to immobility, the 
contemplation of lovemaking slows it down up to suspending it into an endless 

The slowing down of the body processes has no value in itself: they are just the 
outer sign of the disappearance of "ego"; the ego forces and pushes the pleasure 
instead of letting it take its natural course. 

The orgasm is spontaneous when it happens by itself, in its time, and when the 
movements of one's body are dictated by a need to respond rather than to 
demand. The active sexual intercourse is just an imperfect imitation of what 
should happen by itself in an attitude of non-interference. 

From the point of view of contemplation, the sexual love is a revelation. Long 
before orgasm, the sexual upsurge manifests as a psychic exchange of warm 
love that radiates between the lovers. 

This warmth is so powerful that they feel as if they would ecstatically melt into 
each other. Thus, the sexual appetite transforms itself into the most tender and 
respectful love that can be imagined. 



The contemplative sexuality makes it possible to spontaneously perceive our 
relationship with the Universe. The actual "technique" of lovemaking is not 
primarily important, because here there is no result to attain. 


In this approach, both man and woman are spontaneously on the path of self- 
discovery, without judging or expecting anything in advance, but living 
passionately that which exists in the moment. 

In our era of high speed, the only technical request is to have enough time, or, 
better to say, to take enough time. By this, is not only meant the time that is 
measured in seconds, hours, days, etc., but chiefly a psychic attribute (which 
could be called a degree of excellence) that allows events to happen in their own 
time, an inner rhythm that defines a no-hurry attitude. This is a fundamentally 
essential attitude without which spirituality is impossible. 

The modern approach to sexuality is a hurried, forced event, in which woman's 
orgasm is a relatively rare happening and premature movements speed up man's 
ejaculation . 

The Tantric and Taoist modality of no-ego-involvement allows an endless 
exchange of love and delays the male ejaculation to the point of disappearance. 

This approach is much easier for women, due to their basically passive, 
receptive nature. But once man gets used to this spiritual approach of sexuality, 
he can prolong lovemaking indefinitely in time, offering to his woman the 
greatest possible degree of satisfaction and fulfilment, together with a quick and 
profound path leading to self-discovery and enlightenment. 

One of the first steps of the contemplative sexuality is the discovery of the 
profundity and pleasure of the most simple contacts, which are generally 
considered either as having little to do with the sexual act or as being 
preliminary to it. 

It is, for example, discovering the beauty of seeing your loved one, of touching 
him or her, of listening to his or her voice. There is one condition though: do not 
expect these contacts to lead to anything, do not force them to lead to anything 
but let them follow their natural course and stay in a state of detached 

Thus received, the outer and the inner world become charged with an incredible 
intensity of life, and we perceive ourselves as containing, to a certain degree, the 
outer reality reflected in our inner world. 




The idea of contemplative sexuality is found in Japan in the tea ceremony. This 
ceremony (actually rooted in the practice of ZEN) associates the metaphysical 
ecstasy with the social fact of drinking tea with a few good friends. 

During the tea ceremony, the most important activity is the continuous act of 
contemplation - all the rest being secondary from the very beginning and 
somehow unimportant. 

If this fact is not understood, the tea ceremony risks to become a refined 
snobbishness without any spiritual significance, just as the contemplative 
lovemaking without the understanding of the doctrine of non-ego-involvment 
may become a refined art of prolonging the sexual act and enhancing the 
pleasure, but without much spiritual value. 

It is a pity that the majority of those who start the practice of Tantra (and even 
many of those who consider themselves advanced) think of it as a skill that will 
be attained through the practice of certain techniques. 

There is nothing to attain! There is no effort, no goal, and no path. The only 
thing that might require some effort is to give up, to unlearn our prejudices 
about sexuality. After this has been done, Tantra is what remains. 



You are Aphrodite and Adonis as soft flesh endlessly dances on flesh among the 
brilliant flowers of Mount Olympus. You are the roll and roll of the universe in 
the never ending movement of creation. You are mastodons in rut, but you are 
also a point of light beyond manifestation. That point explodes into a million 
fragments like fireworks in cosmic eternity. The two of you are one but even the 
one melts into nothingness.Finally, beyond thought, concept or even feeling at 
all is the indescribable ecstasy as your personality dies. There is only god- 
consciousness in all directions and in all time which is out of time forever. 

And this is Maithuna, the meditation of sex. 

Maithuna is the Sanskrit word for union. Maithuna is yogic sexual union. It 
means act or instance of uniting two or more things into one state of being or a 
spiritual uniting in order to bring about concord. 

This is the unity of creating one from two, an escape from the duality system in 
which we live. Surrounded by a society that teaches us the convoluted 
platitudes and attitudes of TV. soap operas and of advertising in a sort of 
perpetual adolescence of spirit, we unlearn the sexual ecstasy that is our 

Sex is available to almost every adult. It cannot be made illegal, (although laws 
in different places including the United States have circumscribed the kind of 
sex that is legal and given bitter punishment or even death for those who 
transgress the "law") 

Sexual voyaging should take us on journeys to incredible spaces of 
consciousness and union with many levels of infinite reality, but that takes 
unlearning much of what religion has promulgated and our parents, in their 
ignorance, passed on to us. 

Making love is a way of getting high, perhaps ultimately the only way. 

We make love when we walk down the street and smile at an old person; we 
make love when we pet an animal. In all of our daily inter-relating with people 
and with things, we either create more love or break down the love that exists. 
Sexual intercourse is one form of making love. 


(The following instructions use heterosexual terminology; their content, though, 
is valid for the coming together of yin and yang however it manifests.) 

Unfortunately many of us are so separated from our bodies that we wear 
uncomfortable clothing, over-eat, smoke tobacco and use the "missionary" 
position in sexual intercourse. This position in which the man is on top of the 
woman, makes it very difficult for her to adequately respond. 

Since a woman's body is slower to arousal than a man's (it is said to take at 
least eighteen minutes before real union can start to occur), it is necessary for 
the woman to influence the timing during intercourse if the partners are to 
become one with each other. This necessitates a real ego-loss from both 
partners since our society has taught the man to lead and the woman to be 

Even more damaging to a spiritually conscious sex life is the myth that orgasm 
is the summit of sexual experience. Maithuna may lead to experiences that 
make orgasm seem pallid by comparison, to the place of original creation where 
the earth emerges, cells multiply, life evolves in its many facets. 

The feeling that orgasm is necessary can be an anchor grounding the 
personality. If the man does not come to climax, his emotional reaction may 
make it difficult for him to let go of his personality. On the other hand, if the 
woman is using fantasy or play acting to stimulate her body into rapid response, 
she loses touch with her partner. It isn't "bad" to do any of that. But prolonged 
moments of such separation make the most ecstatic levels of love-making 
impossible to achieve. 

So, 'rule' number one: it is of primary importance that orgasm is not the most 
important end to this union. Somebody, perhaps Alan Watts, said that orgasm is 
a delightful punctuation in the act of making love. 

The second 'rule': the woman must be chiefly responsible for timing the sexual 
act. She will slow things down if she feels it is too fast and suggest the next 
move physically or verbally. To do this she needs to lose ego, to be very aware, 
at least in the beginning, of her own body and what responses it is giving. 

Telepathic communication grows through truth-telling. 

Rule three; The two partners must agree to tell the truth to each other at all 
times. Truth, in this case, is what you are feeling or where your thoughts go. 
Remain centered on each other. 


The Star of David is a diagram of the maithuna position of love making. The 
partners are facing each other, the man sitting with his legs crossed, the woman 
sitting on him with her legs around him. In this position there can be no higher 
or lower, no first and second, no beginning and no end. 

Maithuna, sometimes called Kerraza or Dianism in the West or Yab-Yum in 
Tibet, takes time; it is a true meditation. So pick an unpressured day or evening. 
To touch the aeons takes a feeling of unfettered leisure. 

Start slowly. Take a bath together. Throw rose petals in the bath water; light 
candles and incense so that the bathing place itself becomes an altar. 

Look each other deep in the eyes until faces shift and thoughts fade. Tell each 
other how much you care. Now is the safe time to let go of anything held back, 
any untruths, fears, equivocations. Touch softly on the face, the shoulders, the 
hair. After your bath dry each other with soft towels and rub yourselves with 
sacred scents, perhaps with amber in pure oil. 

Lie down in front of a fire or on a bed with soft blankets, and massage each 
other with long, slow movements of hands and arm. Push your hands slowly up 
each other's backs about an inch on each side of the spine, from the sacroiliac, 
sacred space of energy, to the base of the neck where we gather such tension 
during the course of our daily wanderings. Breathe deeply. As you massage each 
other, be aware of the moment. Your world right now is that spot where fingers 
meet back. Concentrate on it. Where flesh touches flesh, you two are already 
coming together in a sacred space. 

When you are ready, sit up comfortably and face each other. Your legs can 
be crossed if you are at ease that way, or you can prop yourselves against 
pillows or even in a very large chair. If you use consciousness expanding 
sacraments, now is a good time to partake of them. 

Breathe deeply, look into each other's eyes again, and see each other as 
divine. Behold god and goddess existing beyond your bodies and yet in 
them, beyond your personalities and yet acting through them. Be 
conscious. As you gaze, your partner's face will shift and change, fade and 
become brilliant. Like a Picasso portrait, you may see simultaneous faces, 
one imprinted on the other. 

Deepening your meditation as you look at each other third eye to third eye, 
you may see that third eye actually manifesting on the flesh between and 


just above the eyebrows. If you need to pull your attention away, stop and 
discuss that need, what you were thinking about and why. In your growing 
telepathic sensitivity, there is nothing to be ashamed of, and there is 
everything to share. The inner core of you has been waiting so long, 
lifetimes perhaps, for this very moment of intimacy. 

This eye meditation is so powerful that you may just want to practice this 
yoga for several days without having union on any other level. The longer 
you practice it, the closer you will get, and the higher genital union will be 
when you finally come to it. 

Maithuna is the art of vibrational rather than frictional sex. You may move in 
The Great Dance, but not until your bodies tell you that it is time. Until then sit 
quietly looking into each other's eyes. Expect nothing. Make no demands. Just 
as waves of sound move together in resonance or discord, if the vibrations are 
not integrated and in harmony between you and your partner, true union is 
impossible to achieve yet. 

Have a soft light; you don't want to make love in the dark but to enhance the 
senses, to dilate every avenue of sight, sound, smell with the wonder of each 
other. This is a meditation in concentration. 

This is a visualization, not in the mind, but in the flesh. The Goddess or God is 
sitting before you as vulnerable and open to love as you are. It wears the face 
and form of your Loved One. Take as much time as you need to appreciate and 
truly feel each other as Deity. This gift and wonder is given those who truly 
yearn to find the cosmic love that irradiates everything on all levels of reality. 

After a space of time, however long or short it may be, you will want to 
touch each other, to feel the warm of flesh. Fingers gently move in unison, 
dance together in the air in a lingering caress that neither leads nor is led 
but is a simple knowing of each other. You touch on shoulders, face, on 
breasts. You may lose consciousness of which are fingers and which is the 
receiving skin as your two bodies slowly become one body caressing itself. 

Do not try to hold on to anything. Rise and fall on the varied levels of 
awareness. You may feel humor, happiness, sadness or even journey 
beyond any feeling, lost in the dance of sweet flesh touching flesh. 

Eventually you will want to be closer. It might be hours or seem like days, 
but since you are travelling in and out of time with no destination in mind, 
it doesn't really matter. At last the need for closer contact develops. And 
then the shakti, divine female energy, sits on the man's crossed legs. Bodies 


come close together in a sweet glow of soma. Intuitive. Knowing almost 
without words where and how to move but using gentle words when they 
come. Feeling. Becoming One as centuries wheel and time collapses on 

If you separate sometimes and become two again, that's fine. Go back to 
looking in each other's eyes. When you know that the time is right, your 
bodies will come together even more intimately. The shakti will put her legs 
around the man's waist, and his penis will penetrate her. 

Keep your bodies quiet. There is no need for for anything further to 
happen, no goals. Just a very slow pulsation of energy. You are secure 

Your vision becomes even more psychedelic. 

You are the Tibetan deities locked in an embrace that ends duality. 

Eventually there is only the blooming of the genitals, boundary lines 
disappearing, no penis, no vagina. 

There is only the fiery still point of creation. 

There may be the history of the world, the slow slide of crystalline mud, 
thunderstorms raging over desolate landscapes, dinosaurs roaring in wild 

Or nebulae wheeling through great heavens. 

Or goddess stepping forth to caress you with the blessing of fearlessness. 
It may become the quietness before creation that builds strange planets of 
tender sweetness. 

The movement begins; that one magnificent energy tightens and relaxes, 
feels itself, knows ecstasy. Although you are merged, you are yourselves 
also, and the woman knows when to relax. The man knows when to pull 
back a moment. 

This is a meditation of self-control that aims at losing self and finding it 
again, the cosmic game of hide and seek that we all play in our own ways. 


It is possible to stop and start over again many times. You may want to 
even separate, feed each other, talk, and return yet once again to sexual 

You can sit, melded in embrace, for many hours experiencing almost 
infinite levels of being. 

When the time comes, there will not be two of you any more. There is only 
a shared awareness of the movement of molecules, of being yourselves in 
the body of Source, of being Source itself. 

Sometime an explosion permeates every atom of your consciousness until 
there is not even one of you any more. 

You have become the universe together 

in the very core of your being. 

This is the summation of Maithuna, sometimes called Tantric Sex. 

This is the experience that makes orgasm look like "the little death" it is 
often called. 

This is a Big Death, an overwhelming death, a death that vibrates in its 
aliveness, a joyous death, a wonder filled adventure through time and 

It is a surrender of personality and individuality to that essence that 
underlies and fills every thing and non-thing. 

You rest in serenity, knowing that you are beautiful and that your beloved 
is beautiful and that all of creation is very beautiful. 

Do not be disappointed if all this does not happen the first time you try it. Be 
patient with yourself and your lover. That very patience and surrender to what 
is will help you to grow, understand and succeed. Familiarity with sexual self- 
control may take time. Most yogic practices do. 

In India, where reincarnation is real and the separate soul, which is the monad, 
learns and grows from one incarnation to the next, time is of little importance. 

To experience the truly ecstatic states of Maithuna, time must be your servant. 


Good journeying. May this little meditation help you and all sentient 


Om Namah Shivah 

The Gorakhbodh 

This is a very obscure text of the Nathas, conducted in the form of questions 
from Gorakh (Gorakhnath) to Macchendra (Matsyendranath). The English 
translation, from a Hindi text, was published at the beginning of previous 
century and is out of copyright. 

Gorakh — O Lord (Svami), you are the Master Teacher (Satguru Gosain), and I 
am but a disciple: may I put a question, which you would kindly reply to and 
resent not? To start with, what ideal (lacch) should the disciple put before him? 
Do tell me for you are the true Teacher. 

Macchendra — Let the unattached (awadhu, avadhuta) live at the monastery (hat) 
or be on the road, resting in the shadow of the trees; he should renounce desire, 
cruelty, greed, delusion, and the illusion of Samsar (Kama, Krodha, Lobha, 
Moha and Samsar ki Maya); he should hold converse (gosht) with himself and 


contemplate the Endless (Ananta); he should sleep little and eat little. In the 
beginning the disciple should live thus. Thus speaks Macchendra. [2] 

G What should he see, what contemplate, and what treat as the essence (sar); 
with what should he shave his head and with the knowledge of what should he 
try to cross (the ocean of Samsar)? 

M He should see himself, contemplate the Endless (Ananta), and fix upon 
Reality as the essence; he should shave his head with (or after receiving) the 
word of the teacher (Guru ka Shabda), and should cross over with the aid of 
Divine knowledge (Brahma Gyana). [4] 

G What is the teaching (upadesh) of the Guru's order or doctrine (Ades)? Where 
does the void (Sunya) reside? Who is the Guru of the word (Shabda)? 

M The most wonderful (anupam) is the teaching of the Guru (Ades); the void 
(Sunya) resides within us and Realisation (parcha or parichaya) is the Guru of 
the word (shabda). [6] 

G What is the form (rupa) of the mind (mana)? What is the appearance (akar) of 
the vital breath (pavana)? What is the direction (disa) of the ten and through 
which door can the control be effected? 

M The void (sunya) is the fore of the mind; the appearance of vital breath 
(pavan) is invisibility (nirakar); the direction of the ten is unsayable (alekh) and 
control lies through the tenth door. [8] 

G Which is the root (mula) and which the branch (bela)? Who is the Guru and 
who the disciple; with what essence (tatt) can one go about alone? 

M Mind is the root and vital breath is the branch; the word (shabda) is the Guru 
and attention (surat or surta) is the disciple. With the essence called deliverance 
(nirbana tat) Gorakhnath wanders about, himself in himself. [10] 

G What is the seed (biraja) and what the field (khetra)? What is direct hearing 
(satvan)? What is true vision? What is Joga and what is the method (Jugti)? 
What is liberation (mocch)? And what is salvation (mukti)? 

M The word (Mantra) is the seed; perception (mati) is the womb or land; and 
attention (surti) is direct hearing, and discrimination (nirti) is true vision; the 
ocean (Uram) is Joga and the earth (Dhuram) is the method; light (joti) is 
liberation and the refulgence (Juala) is salvation. [12] 


G Which is the tree without a trunk, and which is the parrot without wings? 
Which is the dam (palu) without a shore (tir), and who died without death (kal)? 

M Vital breath (pavana) is the tree without a trunk; mind is the parrot (sua) 
without wings; constancy (dhiraj) is the dam without a shore; sleep is dying 
without death. [14] 

G In what house (ghar) is moon (chanda) and in what is the sun (sur)? In what 
house does Time play music (Tur, a musical instrument)? Where do the five 
elements (tat) have equipoise (sam rahai)? 

M The moon in the mind; the sun in the vital breath; in the void (sunya) Time 
plays on the musical instrument (tura) and in the house of knowledge the five 
elements reside in equipoise (sam). [16] 

G What is the New Moon (amavas) and what manifests (pariba)? Which or 
where is the great elixir (maha rasa) and whereto with it do we mount? At what 
place does the mind reside in the state of self -transcendence (unmani)? 

M The sun (ravi) should be treated as the darkest night; the moon should be 
made manifest; the great elixir of the lower (ardh) should be taken to the upper 
(urdh); in the heaven within us (gagan) the mind resides in self -transcendence. 

G What destroys the bad word (kusabda) and where does the good word 
(susabda) reside? On what side (mukha) does the vital breath of twelve 
fingerbreadths reside? 

M The good word swallows or catches the bad word and itself resides within 
(nirantar); the vital breath of twelve fingerbreadths is controlled (rahai) through 
the word of the Guru. [20] 

G Who is the Adiguru? Who is the husband of the earth (dhartri)? What is the 
home of knowledge (gyana)? Which is the door (duvar) of the void (sunn)? 

M The eternal beginningless (anadi) is the Adiguru; heaven (anbar) is the 
husband of earth; Awake-awareness (Chetan) is the home of knowledge, and 
realisation (parcha) is the door of the void. [22] 

G Through the realisation (parchai) of what is the attachment with the Illusion 
(maya moha) broken; how can the residence of the moon (Sisihar) be pierced; 
how is the dam (bandha) applied and how can the body (kandha) be made 
immortal (ajar var)? 


M When realisation (parchai) comes to the mind, attachment to the world 
ceases; with the control of the working of vital breath the moon (sisihar) is 
destroyed; the acquisition of real knowledge (gyana) applies the dam and the 
realisation of the teacher (Guru parchai) gives us immortality. [24] 

G Where do mind, vital breath, the word (shabda) and the moon reside? 

M The mind resides in the heart (hirdai); vital breath resides in the navel; the 
word (shabda) resides in the will (ruci); the moon resides in the heaven (gagan). 

G If there had been no heart (hirda) where would the mind have rested, 
composed? Had there been no navel where, would have vital breath rested 
unmoved? Had there been no form (rupa) where would have the word (Shabda} 
resided? Without a heaven where would have the moon been? 

Without the navel, the air would have resided in the formless (Nirakar); without 
will, the word (shabda) would have resided (rahata) in the unmanifest (Akula); 
without the heaven, the moon would have resided in desire (abhika). 

G Had there been no night, where would the day have come from? Without the 
day, where would the night merge? When the lamp is extinguished, where does 
light dwell? 

M Without night, the day would have merged into Sahaj ; had there been no day, 
the night would have passed into (Sahaj); on the extinguishing of the lamp, the 
light passes into the omnipresent (nirantar); had there been no vital breath, then 
the body of vital breath (pran purus) would have resided in the void. [30] 

G Who is the creator of the body (kaya); wherefrom has light (tej) been created? 
What is the mouth (?muha or muda?) of Divine knowledge (Brahma Gyana)? 
How can the Unseeable be seen? 

M The Absolute (Brahma) is the creator of the body (kaya); out of truth (sat) has 
effulgence (tej) been created; the void is the mouth (muda or muha) of Divine 
knowledge (Brahma Gyana); and through the Sadguru and the disciple 
realisation my the unseeable be made visible. [ 32] 

G How many lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of moons are there in the body?. 
How does fragrance reside in the flower? Where does the ghee hide in the milk? 
How does the soul (jiva) conceal itself in the body? 


M There are two lakhs of moons in the body; fragrance is the conscious (ness) 
(chetan) in the flower; the ghee is immanent in the milk; the soul (jiva) is the all- 
pervasiveness in the body. [34] 

G Had there been no body where would the sun and the moon have resided? 
Had there been no flower, where would the fragrance have been? Had there been 
no milk where would the ghee have been? Had there been no body, where would 
the spirit have been? 

M Without the body, the sun and the moon would have been omnipresent; 
without the flower, fragrance would have dwelt in the (Anhad); without the 
milk, the ghee (ghiv or ghee) would have resided in the void; without the body, 
the spirit would have been in the Supreme Void (Param Sunn). [36] 

G Where do the moon and the sun dwell, where the essence, the root of the word 
(nad) and the vital power (bind)? Where does the Hamsa (swan) mount up for 
drinking water? To what place (ghar) do you bring the reversed power (ulti 
shakti) to rest? 

M The moon resides in the upper (urdha) and the sun in the lower (ardha); the 
essence, the nad(a) and bind(u) dwells in the heart; to the heaven goes the swan 
(hans) for drinking water, and the reversed power (Shakti) reverts to the Self, its 
real, original home. [38] 

G Where does nad(a) rise; where does it acquire equipoise (sam); how is it made 
to stand still, and where is it finally merged? 

M Nad(a) rises from the Unconditioned (Avigata); gains equipoise in the void; 
you can stop it through the vital breath and it vanishes, unites with the Formless 
(Niranjana). [40] 

G If the nad(a) sounds not, if the power acts not, if the heaven is not there to 
draw our hope, were there neither nad(a) nor bind(u), then where would the man 
of vital breath (Prana Purusha) reside? 

M Nad(a) sounds, bind(u) moves; the heaven (gagan) attracts desire; but were 
there neither nad(a) nor bind(u) then breath would reside in the omnipresent 
(nirantar). [42] 

G When form dissolves and the Formless remains, when water becomes air, 
when there is neither sun nor moon, where does the Hamsa dwell? 


M The Sahaja hans(a) resides after the play in the Person of the void (Sunn 
hans); when the form becomes Formless then the spirit (hans) resides in the 
Supreme light (Param Joti). [44] 

G What is the root (mula) of the rootless (Amul)? Where does the root reside? 
Who is the Guru of the goal (pada)? 

M The void is the root of the rootless; the root resides in the omnipresent 
(Nirankar); the Guru of the goal is liberation (Nirban). [46] 

G Where does the vital breath (prana) rise? Wherefrom does the mind come? 
How is the speech (vacha) born and where does it dissolve (viliyate)? 

M The birth of the mind is from the Formless (Avagat), the vital breath from the 
mind, and speech from the breath; speech is dissolved in the mind. [48] 

G Which is the lake and which the lotus? How can we ward off Kal(time or 
death)? How can we reach the Unseeable, Unreachable (Agochar) world? 

M Mind is the lake and air is the lotus; by becoming upwards-faced (Urdh- 
mukhi) you can ward off Kal; through knowing the lower and the upper one my 
become one with the Unknowable (Agochar liv lahai). [50] 

G Which is the difficult, and which the easy; what is union (sandh), and through 
what nerve centre (chakra) can the moon be made stable? How can the 
conscious mind attain to self-transcendence? 

M The Pure (Anila) and the Stainless (Vimal) are the difficult and easy forms of 
union (sandh); the dam is to be applied above the chaki nerve-centre (chakra); 
the always-awake can attain to self-transcendence (unmani). [52] 

G How came about birth? How did the first consciousness begin (ad ki surat)? 
How was I born? 

M As oil is in the sesame seed, as fire is in the wood, as fragrance in the flower, 
so too resides the spirit (devata) in the body (deh). [54] 

G What drives ahead the conch-like (sankhini)? Where does the elixir in the 
arched vein (banka nala) go? As the breather goes to sleep, where does the vital 
breath (prana) in the body (pinda) side? 

M True spontaneity (sahaj subhai) can drive the conch-like (sankhini); the 
arched vein (banka nala) resides in the navel; as the breather goes to sleep; the 


vital breath in the body resides in its own shadow or resides undivided (api 
chhaya or aparchhinna). [56] 

G At what nerve centre (chakra) is the moon stabilised? At what nerve centre 
(chakra) is the union or penetration (sandh) applied? What nerve centre (chakra) 
controls (niredha) the vital air? What centre (chakra) imparts knowledge 
(pramodh) to the mind? At what centre (chakra) should attention (dhyana) he 
centred (dhariye)? At what centre (chakra) should one rest? 

M The higher (Urdh chakra), the lower (Ardh chakra), the Pashchima (west) 
centre, the heart centre, the throat (kantha) centre the Gyana (Agya) chakra. 

G Which is the garden, the town and the mandal? In which city is the Guru? If I 
forget it, how am I to cross over? 

M Whoso gives up speech has achieved the void of the manifoldness (maya 
sunn): in contemplating that, one rises above good and evil; by an understanding 
of Shiva and Shakti, one may attain to self-transcendence (unmani). [60] 

G By what stalk of the lotus (nala) can the liquid (Siva) be drawn up? How does 
the soul (jiva) drink it? How can one residing in the womb of the mother, drink 
the elixir? 

M It is collected through the Shankhini Nadi; the soul (ji va ) resides in the 
Sushumna nadi; while residing in the womb of the mother he drinks it through 
the banka nala. [62] 

G What is the house (graha) and what the habitation; in what womb does he 
remain for ten months? Through what mouth does he drink water and through 
what mouth, milk? In what direction was the body born? 

M The Pure, the Formless (Anil) is the house (graha) and the Unconditioned 
(avagat), the habitation (has); in the womb of the Beyond (Atit) he remains for 
ten months; through mind he has water and through vital air (pavan) he drinks 
elixir or milk (amrit); in the direction of Omkar the body takes birth. 

G In what void (sunn) is he born? In what void (sunn) is he absorbed? 

M He is born in the Sahaja Void and the Satguru gave him instruction at the 
void of nearness (Samip Sunn); he then got absorbed in the void of 
unattachment (Atit Sunn). He then explains to you the essence of the supreme 
void (Param Sunna). [88] 


G How can one attain to Samadhi? How can one get rid of the disturbing factors 
(upadhi)? How can one enter the fourth (Turiya) state? How can one make one's 
body (kandh) changeless and deathless? 

M The young person (bala) enters Samadhi through the mind; he gets rid of the 
disturbances through the vital breath (pavan); he acquires the fourth state 
(Turiya) through attention (surat) or realisation (Gyana) and through obeying, 
turning to, the Guru (Guru mukh) he attains to immortality. [68] 

G Who sleeps, who wakes, who goes to the ten directions? Wherefrom does the 
vital breath arise? How does it bring sound from the lips, throat and the palate 
(talika or taluka)? 

M The mind, or the absorbed (liv) sleeps; the vital breath or the conscious 
(chetan) awakes; imagination (kalpana) goes out to the ten directions. From the 
navel the air arises, it rises and produces sounds from the lips, throat and the 
palate (taluka). [70] 

G What is the conscious? What is the essence (sar)? What is sleep and what is 
death? By realising what (parchai) does one sustain the elements (tat)? 

M The light (Joti) is conscious; fearlessness is the awakened essence. Waking is 
birth and sleeping is death; the five elements dwell in light. [72] 

G Who speaks, who sleeps; in what form does he seek himself? In what form 
does he remain the same through the ages? 

M Word (shabda) speaks; attention (surat) sleeps; he seeks himself in an 
Unseeable (adekh) form and in the Form without Form he remains the same 
through ages. [ 74 ] 

G How does the mind acquire virtues? How does the vital air come and go? 
How does the fountain (nihjar) rise from the moon and how does Time or Death 
(kal) go to sleep? 

M In the heart (hirdai) the mind acquires the many virtues; in the navel the vital 
air starts its coming and going (Avagavan); contemplating itself (apmukhi) he 
makes the fountain play; contemplating itself Time or Death goes to sleep. [76] 

G At which void (sunn) does light reverse; from which void does speech arise; 
which void is the essence of the three worlds; through which void can one cross 


M The void of eagerness, the void of fearlessness, the void of self-mastery, and 
the void of detachment. (Urga, Anbhai, Prabhu, Atit). [78] 

G Where does hunger arise and where food? Where is sleep born and where 

M From desire (mansa) arose hunger and from hunger, food; from food sleep 
and from sleep, death. [80] 

G At which lotus does the Hamsa (hans) inhale and exhale (sas, usas); at which 
lotus does Hamsa rest; at what lotus does he perform worship (puja) and at what 
lotus does he see the Unseeable (Alakh)? 

M The navel lotus, the heart lotus, the centre (madh) lotus, the lotus Beyond 
(Achint). [82] 

G What is truth? Do tell me, please, O Guru Pandit. What is the condition or 
direction of the mind and the breath? How can one swim across (the ocean of 
Samsar) with their help? 

M Progression from mere seeing, to divine or spiritual perception (dibya drisht); 
from knowledge (gyana) towards realisation (vigyma); the teacher and the pupil 
have the same body; if realisation (parcha) comes, then there will he no straying 
or return. [84] 

G Wherefrom do inhalation and exhalation arise? Where does the Param Hans 
reside? At what place does the mind reside constantly stable? 

M They rise from the lower (Ardh); at the higher (Urdh) the Supreme Swan 
(Param hans) resides; in the Sahaja Void the mind is ever in equipoise. In the 
realisation of the word (Shabda parchai) the mind remains in equipoise. [86] 

G How should one come, how go; how to collect oneself and remain absorbed; 
how can one stabilise one's mind and one's body? 

M He should come and go in the void and in the void (sunn) he should collect 
himself and remain absorbed; in the Sahaja Void the body and the mind remain 
unchanged. [ 88 ] 

G Where does Shiva reside and where Shakti? Where resides vital breath (prana) 
and where the embodied being ( Jiva) ? At what place can one have the 
realisation of them? 


M At the lower (Ardh) resides Shakti and at the higher (Urdh) Shiva; inside 
resides vital breath (prana) and further inside the embodied being (Jiva); by 
going still further in, one may attain to a realisation of them. [90] 

G How should one sit and how walk, how speak and how meet; how should one 
deal with one ' s body? 

M He should sit, walk, speak and meet awake and aware (surat mukh); with his 
attention and discrimination (surat or nirat) thus handled, he should live 
fearlessly. [92] 

G What is the word (shabda); what is attention (supat); what is discrimination 
(nirat)? What is the dam? How can one remain stable amidst duality? 

M The Beginningless, the Soundless (Anahad) is the word; right awareness is 
attention (surat); independence (niralanb) is discrimination (nirat); let him apply 
the check; he will then live as Unity amidst Duality. [94] 

G Who can tread a path without feet? Who can see without eyes? Who can hear 
without ears? Who can speak without words? 

M Contemplation (vichar) can tread without feet; discrimination (nirat) can see 
without eyes; attention (supat) can hear without ears; the Soundless (Anhad) can 
speak without words. [96] 

G Which posture (asan)? What knowledge (gyana)? How should the young 
disciple (bala) meditate (dhyan)? By what means can he enjoy the bliss of the 
Unconditioned Being (Avagata)? 

M Contentment (santokh) is the posture (asana); contemplation is the knowledge 
(gyana); he should try to rise above his physical being in (or for) his meditation; 
through carrying out the behest of the Guru he can have the joy of the 
Unconditioned Being (Avagata). [98] 

G How to have contentment and contemplation and meditation that goes beyond 
the physical? How can I bend my mind to them? 

M Contentment comes from fearlessness (nirbhai); thinking from avoidance of 
attachment or realisation (anbhai); he should meditate within his body to rise 
above the body; by turning to the Teacher (Guru) one can bend one's mind to 
them. [100] 


G What is the cleansing (Dhoti)? What is conduct (Achar)? Through what 
recitation (Japa) does the mind come to rid itself of restless thoughts (Vikaras)? 
How can one become unattached and fearless? 

M Meditation is purification; right thinking, discrimination leads to right action; 
through the Ajapa Japa ( = Ha Sa) the mind rids itself of restless thoughts; by 
becoming unattached one can become fearless. [ 102] 

G Who is the Omkar and who is the Self (ap); who is the mother and who is the 
father? How can the river (darya) enter the mind? 

M The word (Shabda) is the One (Omkar); light (Joti) is the Self; the void 
(Sunn, Surat) is the mother and consciousness (Chit or Chaitan) is the father; 
steadiness (nishchai — without anxiety) causes the river to flow in the mind. [ 

G How can one carry out true living (rahini) and how can one carry on 
meditation? Where is the immortal elixir? How can one drink it? How can one 
keep the body for ever? 

M By turning to the higher (Urdha) or the mind, you can attain right living; by 
turning to Shakti you can achieve right meditation; by turning to the heaven 
within (gagan) you can have the elixir of immortality (Amirasa) and by turning 
to conscious activity (chit) you can drink it. By relinquishing desire, one can 
gain the immortal body (bidehi rahai). [106] 

G How should one come and go; how can one defeat death? How can one reside 
in light? 

M One should turn to Sahaja; one should go by turning to Shakti; by becoming 
wingless one can eat away death; one can always reside in light by being 
without breath (niswasa). [ 108] 

G What is body, what is breath; what Person (purukh) should I meditate upon? 
At what place does mind transcend Time? 

M Air is the body and the mind is the breath (force); we should meditate on the 
Supreme Person (Param Purukh). In Samadhi the mind goes beyond the reach of 
Time. [110] 

G Which is the key and which is the lock; who is old and who is young (bala)? 
Where does mind remain awakened (chetan)? 


M The wordless (nih-shabda) is the key and the word (shabda) is the lock; the 
unconscious one (achet) is old; the conscious one is young; mind in self- 
transcendence (unman) is ever aware (chetan). [112] 

G Who is the practitioner (sadhak) and who the perfected (Siddh)? What is 
illusion and what is magic? How can one drive away deception from one's 

M Attention is the practitioner and the word is the adept; "I am" is the illusion 
(Maya) and "he is" is the magic (riddh). To destroy deception or duality one 
should reside within. [1 14] 

G Which is the mould, and which is the calx of tin? Which is the ornament and 
how may it be beautified? How should self-transcendence (unmani) reside 
changeless with that? 

M Knowledge (gyana) is the mould; vital breath is the calx (beng); light is the 
ornament which makes it beautiful; self -transcendence (unmani) should reside 
with That steadfastly, unchangingly. [116] 

G Which is the temple and who is the god (deva); how to worship it? How 
should one reside there with the five unholy ones? 

M The void is the temple; mind is the god; one should serve Him by being 
within (nirantar); with the five one should reside in self- transcendence 
(Unman). [118] 

G Which is the temple, which the door; which is the image and who is the 
Unfathomable (Apar)? By what method of worship can the mind transcend itself 
(Unman rahai)? 

M The void is the temple; Shabda is the door; Light is the image; the Flame 
(Jvala) is the Unfathomable (Apar); through turning to the form of the Formless 
(Arupa) or to the Guru one can reside self- transcendent, or fathom the secrets. 

G Which is the lamp and which is the light? What is the wick wherein the oil 
resides? How can the lamp be made inextinguishable? 

M Knowledge (Gyana) is the lamp; the word (shabda) is the light (prakash); 
contentment (santokh — santosha) is the wick in which the oil resides; one 
should destroy duality and be without partiality (akhandit). [122] 


G What goes slow and what goes fast? Who revolves and what is the find? In 
what place can one be fearless? 

M Steadiness of mind (dhiraj) goes slow; restless thought (vikara) goes fast; 
surat (attention) revolves (phurti) and truth (sar) is the find. [124] 

G Who is a Yogi? How should he live in equipoise? Who is an enjoyer (Bhogi) 
and how should he acquire? How does pain rise out of pleasure and how can one 
patiently suffer pain? 

M Mind is the Jogi; let him live in self-transcendence; the great elixir will come 
to him and he will enjoy all pleasures; in that elixir is the indivisible (akhandit) 
pain; the word (shabda) of the Guru secures the patience to suffer it. [126] 

G Which is the self (Atma), what comes and goes? Which is the self, what is 
absorbed in the void? What is the self, what stays changeless in the three 
worlds? By knowing whom can one become one of the fifty-two heroes (bavan 

M The self of vital breath (pavan atma) comes and goes; the mind-self is 
absorbed in the void; the knowledge-self resides unchanged in the three worlds; 
by knowing (parchai) the Guru one becomes one of the fifty-two heroes. [128] 

G What is the life (Jiva) of the mind? What is the support (besas) of that life 
(jiva)? What is the basis of that support? What is the form of the Brahma? 

M The life (jiva) of the mind is the vital air and the support of the embodied 
being (jiva) is the void; the basis (adhar) of that support (besas) is the form of 
Brahma (= Absolute); and the form of the Brahma is unthinkable (Achintya). 

G Through which centre can one make one's body immortal? Through which 
centre can one attain to the Unknowable dam (Agochar bandh)? Through which 
centre can the Hamsa be liberated (Hans nirodh)? Through which centre can the 
mind be instructed? Which centre gives pleasure? Which centre brings on the 

M The anus (Mula) centre; the penis (Guda) centre; the navel (Nabhi) centre; the 
heart centre; the throat centre and the head (Nilata) centre. He who knows the 
meaning of these six chakras, he is the Cause, he the Deva. [132] 

He is a Yogi who controls (sadhita) the mind and the vital air (pavana); he is not 
stained by evil. He is not seized of merit. [133] 




Abhaya. Fearlessness. Security. 

Abhichara. Black magic. 

Abhra. Mica. The Ovum of Shakti. 

Abhyasa. A regular practice. Discipline. 

Absorption. The Nath sits on the Dragon Seat inside a magical circle and 

creates or re-arranges energy to form a cone. Mind projections drawn into this 

cone are classified as absorption. See also: Expansion. 

Academies of Sense Perception. A deep study of the qualities and abilities of 

the five senses. 

Adhara. A base or center of spiritual power. 

Adhikara. Being spiritually competent for spiritual study. Adhyatmika. Body of 

knowledge relating to God. 

Adhyaya. A chapter of a book. 

Adi. Supreme. Primordial. 

Adi-Nath. Sub-sect of the Nath line. Consciousness; awareness itself. A title of 


Aditi. Space. 

Aditya. The Sun. 

Advaita. Not two. State of oneness with all. 

Agama. The tradition of the Tantriks and Kaula, as opposed to that of the 

orthodox or Aryans known as Veda. In Agamas, Shakti asks Shiva questions, 

and he replies. In Nigamas, this is reversed. 

Agamas. Tantrik scriptures dealing with rites, dharma, cosomology. 

Agarthi. Cave complex under the Himalayas from a ruined Gobi Desert 

civilization. Their traditions include: following the right hand path, being easy to 

understand, having a religious orthodoxy, being filled with superstitions, having 

a priestcraft and using prayers of dubious value. See: Shambhala. 

Agni-Hotra. Square fire pit of Vedic Brahmins. 

Ajapa Mantra. "Hang-Sah." The mantra of the in and out sounds of the breath. 

Akula. Not Kula. Shiva. The Alpha Ovule. 

Amavasya. New Moon. 

Amrita. That which is immortal. Nectar of the Gods. 

Amoral. Not moral. That is, does not have the values of morals placed upon it. 

Electricity is amoral. The opposite of moral is immoral. 

Anama. "Without name". A synonym for Hamsa 21600. 

Ananda. Bliss. Joy. 

Angaraka. Mars. 


Anima The siddhi of becoming as small as an atom. There are 7 others, so the 

whole group is referred to as the 8 Siddhis. 

Apadravya Artificial phallus. 

Apara Lower, worldly knowledge. 

Arambhashura "A hero in the beginning. " One who fails to finish heroically. 

Ardhanareswara Shiva and Shakti in one image. 

Arghya. An ark or receptical of creative power. Arrows, flowering. The five 


Artha. Substance; what requires gathering for human sustenance, i.e. food, 

wealth, etc. 

Ashirwad. Blessings. 

Ashram(a). Home of a person or group who lead a spiritual life. Usually for a 

Guru and Chelas. 

Asuras. Antigods. 

Atma(n). The highest or true self as distinct from the consciousness or ego. 

Shiva embodied. There is no difference between Atman and Paramatman except 

that caused by Maya. The Atman is not necessarily embodied. 

Atmadarshan. Vision of the Real. 

Aushadhi. Name of the Goddess as Mother of Herbs and medicine. 

Avatar(a). Incarnation of a God or Goddess into a human or animal form. One 

who incarnates a particular truth or path on Earth. Thus, Matsyendranath is the 

Avatar of the Kaula Jnana Nirnaya Tantra. 

Avidya. Ignorance. Spiritual blindness. Illusion. 

Ayurveda. "Knowledge of longevity". Traditional Indian medicine and medical 


Ayurvaidyas. Those who practice traditional Indian medical techniques. 

Azoth. Alchemical term: The Elixir. Nectar. Amrit. 


Bala. Daring. Also the name of the girl Bala, an aspect of Tripurasundari. 

Bali. Animal sacrifice. 

Bhaga, See yoni. Also means "Good Luck"(!) 

Bhairava. The terrific aspect of Shiva. His vehicle is a black dog. 

Bhairavas. "The Fearless Ones" who are members of a Tantrik sect which 

worship Kali . 

Bhairavi. Shakti or partner of Bhairava. 

Bhakta. A devotee. 


Bhakti Yoga. Path of devotion to God. 

Bhasma. Ash. 

Bhasmagiris. Hills of Bhasma. Pure ash of burnt wood. Some Bhasmagiris are 


Bhaya. Fear. 

Bhoga. Sexual enjoyment. Enjoyment of the senses. 

Bhojana. Food. "That which is enjoyed". There are three types: Lunar, 

composed of sense impressions; Solar, composed of the breath; Fiery, composed 

of edibles and water. 

Bhuchari. A group of Shaktis connected with objects. 

Bhukti Muktikaranika. The path of enjoyment and liberation. 

Bhu Prastara. A ritual posture of the Suvasini: she is recumbent. 

Bhuts. Elementals. The term comes from bhuta. These are the five elements, 

Space, Air, Fire, Water, Earth. 

Bindu. The point without a center from which proceeds Cosmic Sound (Nada). 

Drop. Dot. Semen. 

Bija. A "root" or "seed" sound or syllable of a mantra. Sperm. 

Body Yantra. Simplified version of the Shri Yantra. A map of the 


Bow (of sugarcane). The mind. 

Brahma. The creator of the Cosmos. 

Brahma Trees. Trees whose wood or flowers or leaves have some particular 

spiritual merit. 

Brahmarandhra. The hole of Brahma. The spiritual center at the top of the 


Brahmin. One who knows Brahma or the Absolute. 

Chaaya. Shadow. The Astral Body. 

Chakra. Circle or wheel, often applied to the diagrams or yantras used in ritual 
worship, or to centers of spirituality within or without the body, as Macrocosm 
and Microcosm are one. Lotus. A center of energy. A place of worship. 
Chandra. The Moon. 

Chandra Bindu. "Juice of the Moon". Precedes Maithuna in the Suvasini. 


Chandrakalas. The 108 Navamshas. See Navamshas. 

Chela. Pupil of a Guru. 

Chhala. A sham. 

Chhoma. Finger signs used for secret identification. 

Chhota. Little. 

Chit. Consciousness. 

Chitrini. A tiny nadi within another nadi. 


Dakini. See Shakti. The elemental embodiment of supernatural knowledge and 


Dakshina. Gift given to one's Guru. 

Dakshina Marg. Right hand path. South path. Opposite of Varna Marg. 

Danda. Magick wand. A rod. 

Darshan. Vision. Direct experience of spiritual energies and forces. 

Datta. Form of Dattatreya. 

Dattatreya. The ultimate guru figure of India. Some sects have deified him. 

Demon. An individual guardian spirit (Latin: Daemon. Greek: Daimon). In 

Xtian thought: an evil spirit. Follows the custom of converting non-Xtian dieties 

and concepts into devils and evil desires. A demon can only be bad when the 

mind conceives it as being so. 

Deva(s). God(s). Shining ones. 

Devadas(is). "Servants of the Gods". Temple prostitutes. 

Devi. Goddess or Shakti. There are said to be 33,000,000 Devis, but all are 

aspects of one primordial Goddess. Devi Chakra. The circle of all the Shaktis or 

Energy Clusters of the Goddess. 

Dharana. Concentration of mental energy on one point. 

Dharma. Duty. What requires to be done. Law. Justice. Also a technical name 

for Shakti. 

Dhatu-Vada. "Essence Way". Alchemy. 

Dhuni. Sacred "fire". It only smolders. Made of wood or cow dung. Of non- 

Vedic origin. Usually circular (yoni image) about 10-12 inches in diameter. It is 

tended by Sadhus at their homes. 

Dhuti. Messenger. 


Dhyana. Meditation. Consciousness without thought. Image to be used in 


Digambara. Clothed with the directions of space; Naked. Refers to Dattatreya. 

Compare to Wiccan "skyclad" and Nuit of Liber Al. 

Digits. Periods relating to the Moon cycle. Kali's digits: waning Moon. Lalita's 

digits: waxing Moon. Jvalamukhi's unified digits: full Moon. 

Diksha. "Enhallowment". Initiation. 

Dikshaka. One who initiates. 

Dikshita. One who is initiated 

Dragon Seat. The center of a Zonule (qv). 

Dvapara Yuga. Second great period of time. 

Dvesha. Hatred. Aversion. 

Dvija. "Twice born". Initiated. 


Ekagrata. One pointedness. Concentrating on one thing at a time. 
Emkara. The sylable "Aim" —seed mantra of Tara and Sarasvati. 
Expansion. The Nath sits on the Dragon Seat inside a magical circle. From the 
circle s/he creates or rearranges energy to form a cone. Mind projections sent 
outside this cone are classified as expansion. See: Absorption. 


Fourth. The Wake-Dream-Deep Sleep continuum. 


Gandharva. Celestial musicians in the Heaven of Indra (Indraloka). 

Garbha. The womb. 

Gauri. The Golden One. A name of the Goddess. 


Goad. Represents repulsion. Represents the Sun. 

Gochari. A group of Shaktis connected with the 5 senses of the knower. 

Gola. A type of menstrual blood. 

Granthi. Knot or complex. Knot of delusion. 

Guna. Quality or trait. There are 3: Rajas—active; Tamas— passive; and Sattvas- 

the balance of Rajas and Tamas. 

Gems of the Naths, See jewels of the Naths. 

Guru. "The Dispeller of Ignorance". A guide. A realized preceptor who can 

guide the sincere. The living representative of a philosophical or religious 

system. There is no difference between realized Guide, Goddess and God. 

Guruparampara. A serial line of teachers. 

Guru Purnima. See purnima. 


Hamsa. "Swan". A mantra which is the natural sound of the breath. It is uttered 

21600 times a day. 

Hatakeshvara. An aspect of Shiva. 

Hatha Yoga. "Sun-Moon Yoga". Exercises for better physical health. Also 

means "Forced Yoga". Can detract from spiritual pursuits by addicting one to 

the body. Evolved by Gorakhnath. 

Hrim. A mantra of Maya Shakti. Pronounced "Hreem". 

Iccha. The Will. 

Iccha Shakti. The Shakti or Energy of Will. 

Ida. The (feminine, lunar) nadi going about the central Sushumna nadi. 


Jada. Inert. Physical body without consciousness. 

Jagat. "That which is always going". The phenomenal world. 

Jagrat. Waking state of consciousness. 

Japa(m). Repetition; as of a mantra. 

Jewels of the Naths. There are three: Sama— equipoise; Samarasa— seeing self as 

the world, and the world in the self; and Sahaj a— spontaneous naturalism. 

Jiva. The incarnated Atma. 

Jivatma. Individual consciousness. 

Jivamukta. Liberated while still in the body. 

Jnana. Knowledge. 

Jnana Shakti. The Shakti or Energy of Knowledge. 


Kailasa Prastara. Denotes the female superior sexual position. 

Kaivalya. Supreme liberation of consciousness from a sense of individuation 

granted by Kali . 

Kala. Time. Star. Perfume. Ray. Essence. Unguent. Part or division of one 

whole process or thing. 

Kalagnirudra. The Fire at the End of Time which burns up the whole Cosmic 


Kali. Goddess of Time or Period. Presiding Goddess of the Naths. 

Kalpa. An age. See Yuga. 

Kama. God of erotic love. Lust. Sexuality. What is required for procreation. 

Kamakala. Essence of desire. Triangle of bindus (red, white and mixed) 

representing the Yoni of the Goddess. In Shri Vidya (Knowledge of the Shri 

Yantra) it means that for creation sperm and egg must come together. The inner 

heart of the Bindu. See the booklet, "Lalita Magick". 

Kamakhya Pitha. Seat of the Goddess at Kamarupa. A place especially sacred 

as it is the place of the Devi's Yoni on Earth. 

Kamarupi. The Goddess at Kamakhya. 

Kamrup. An image or form of desire. A power zone. 

Kanchuka. Clothes. 

Kanchuki Devi. The Goddess as wearing different clothes (Kanchuka) which 


represents layers of other Shaktis. 

Kanya. Girl. Virgin. Virgo. 

Kapala. Human skull. 

Karana. Primal cause. 

Karma. "Action". "Results of doing". Inevitable law of cause and effect. May 

last over lifetimes. 

Kartikkeya. A son of Shiva . Also known as Skanda or Subrahmana. His vehicle 

is a cockerel. 

Kaula. A knower of Kali-kala. The perfect assimilation within oneself of both 

Sun and Moon. Symbol: an eclipse. 

Kaulesha. Lord of Kaula. 

Kaulika. One following the path of Kaula. Relating to the Kulas or clusters. 

Kavacha. A protective amulet. Armor. 

Khageshvari. Goddess of Space or Aether. 

Khechara. One who can move in the Expanse of Consciousness = Shiva. 

Khechari. A group of Shaktis connected with the Knower. 

Kinnaras. Spirits who are half human and half beast in the service of Kubera. 

Kirtana. Song and dance of worshippers of Vishnu or his incarnations. 

Kleshas. "Pain". There are five dealt with in Nath literature: Ignorance, Ego (an 

imaginary opinion of ourselves), Repulsion (to overcome it. This means learning 

that nothing is horrible in itself), Attachment (the false idea that we possess 

anything), and Clinging to Life. 

Krishna. "The Black One", "The Stealer of Souls" The eighth incarnation of 

Vishnu. Represents the spontaneous power of unconventional sex. 

Krita Yuga. First great period of time. 

Kriya. "Action". Sometimes electric-like shocks that can cause the physical 

body to twitch. 

Kriya Shakti. The Energy or Shakti of Action. 

Kshetraja. The Shaktis born from sacred sites. 

Kshetrapala. A son of Shiva . He rules over the land around the homestead and 

has a terrifying form. 

Kula. "Clan". A Shakti or Energy. Family or cluster of Kali's Shaktis: some 

build, some maintain, and some whithdraw. 

Kulachara. The Path of the Kulas. 

Kulayana. Another name for Kula or Kaulashastra. 

Kumari. Virgin. 


Kumani Puja. Worship of virgins. 

Kunda. Type of menstrual blood. 

Kundalina. The Devi who is concealed in the internal dhooni or smouldering 


Kundalini. The "fire snake" supposedly at the base of the spine. 

Kundalini Yoga. A modern term based on a misunderstanding of Laya Yoga. If 

valid, it is dangerous to do as described. There are simpler and safer methods. 

Kusha. Sacred grass. Used in certain ceremonies. 

Lakh. 100,000. 

Lakini. One of the 7 Shaktis associated with the metabolism of food in the 

human body. 

Laksha. Points in the body which are to be meditated upon. 

Lalita. Sexual aspect of Shakti. Collective form of the three Shaktis of Shiva 

(See Shiva): Will, Knowledge, Action. 

Laya Yoga. An attempt to raise the levels of consciousness until "liberation" is 

reached. No known person has succeeded by this method. Nathas say it is only 


Lila. Play. Sport. Game. 

Lingam. Male genital organ. The special symbol of Shiva. 

Lokapalas. World protectors. There are four, represented by the equinoxes and 

solstices. They are also represented by the sphynx or the riddle of Egypt. 

Lokas. Worlds or planes of existence. Inhabited by intelligent beings. 


Madya. Wine. 

Magick. The six types of Tantrik Magick are for the purposes of protection, 

peacemaking, victory, wealth, punishing and destroying. 

Maha. Great. 

Mahadeva. "Great God", that is, Shiva. 


Mahadevi. The Great Goddess. 

Mahasamadhi. Refers to a tomb. 

Mahatma. Great soul. 

Maha-yuga. "Great Age". It is composed of 4 Yugas for a total of 4,320,000 


Maithuna. Ritual sexual intercourse. 

Makara. "Truths". "Substances". Pancha Makaras or Pancha Tatvas means the 5 

truths or principles. It refers to a sexual Tantrik ritual. 

Mala. Rosary. 

Mamsa. Meat. 

Mandala. A magick circle. 

Mantra(m). Words with inherent power. God or Goddess in sound form. 

Mantraja. The Shaktis created from the spiritual process of uttering mantras. 

Mantrin (fern: Mantrini). A magician who practices mantra magic. 

Marg. Path or way. 

Marma. Power zone on the human body. There are said to be 108 of them. On 

the Shri Yantra, as related to the human body, a marma is said to exist where 3 

lines intersect. 

Matrika. The letters of the alphabet. The Goddess in her form as all sound and 


Maya. "Illusion". Goddess who causes us to see energy patterns as the physical 

world, "...the mystic, magick power of Shakti which manifests, makes and 

creates the relative and forms the basic delusion of all mankind... between Truth 

and mankind hangs the eternal veil of maya delusion." 

Meena. Fish. 

Mercury. Semen. 

Moksha. Ultimate spiritual liberation from material bondage. One of the 4 

duties of a human. The others are Dharma, Artha and Kama. 

Mounam. Silence. To take mounam means to take a vow of silence. 

Mridanga. A type of drum. 

Mrityunjaya. Shiva as conqueror of death. 

Mudra. Symbolic and/or magickal gestures. Poached grain. A talisman. Large 

wooden earrings of Gorakhnath followers. 

Mukti. Liberation from individualized consciousness. 

Muni. Sage. 


Nada(m). Vibrational energy which pervades all things. It manifests as sound. 

"The absolute as sound. 

Nadi. "River". Current or channel of psychic energy. Conduits of Prana. Nerve 

passages in the body. There are said to be 72,000 nadis. The pulse. 150th part of 

the Ascendant in a Sidereal Birth Chart. 

Nagas. Serpent spirits. 

Nakshatra. One of the 27 sidereal lunar constellations. 

Nath(a).Lord, Master. Mistress. Protector. Refuge. One who gives equal 

importance to the three energies within: Lunar (intellect), Solar (emotions), and 

Fire (bodily sensations). An ancient Indian Magickal Cult. 

Navamshas. 200' of arc in Sidereal Astrology. Each constellation has 1800' of 

arc. Therefore, there are 9 (nava) navamshas in a sidereal constellation. Since 

there are 12 constellations in the Sidereal zodiac there are 9 times 12 or 108 


Nayika Siddhi. Magick power to evoke a beautiful woman. 

Nectar. See Amrita. 

Nitya. Day or "digit" of the Moon. Eternal. Unchanging. 

Nivritti.Cessation of mental tendencies. A life of having no physical things as 

followed by Sannyasins. Involution. Opposite of Pravritti. 

Niyama. Restraint of mind. 

Noose. Represents attachment, the Moon. 

Nyasa. "Applying" drawn energy for a purpose such as transfering power to a 

candidate during initiation. 


Ob-blocks. See Kleshas. 

Ojas. Magickal energy. Semen. 

Omkara. The famous mantric sylable OM or AUM. 


Paan. A sweetmeat made of betel nut and other fragrant substances wrapped in 

a betel leaf. 

Pada. Feet. 

Padma. "Lotus". Symbol of yoni. 

Padukas. Wooden sandals. Worn by Dattatreya. 

Pagal. "Mad". Pagalnath: Nath sect so-called due to outrageous behavior. 

Pancha. Five. 

Para. Transcendental spiritual wisdom. Beyond. Distant. Far. 

Parada. "Mercury". Semen of Shiva. 

Parampara. Line of succession. 

Para Shakti. Supreme Shakti in whom all the other Shaktis or Clusters reside. 

Paro. Mysterious or secret pattern to an action done by one's own will. 

Pashu. Animal herd. Animal nature. Literally "a beast" but in the special sense 

meaning a human being who is ignorant and uninitiated. 

Patra. Magick chalice. 

Phat. "Crack". The Thunderbolt Mantra. Used to drive off disturbing spirits. 

Fingers should be snapped around head while saying it. 

Pinda. The Microcosm. Pindas are small balls of food offered during the 

Shraddha or ancestor ceremony. 

Pingala. Male, Solar nadi opposite Ida nadi going about the central Sushumna 


Pitha. Pedestal, but applied to mean a site where a particular aspect of the 

Goddess presides. Pitha also refers to centres within the body. 

Pithaja. The Shaktis born form the spiritual centers or pedestals (Pitha) of 


Pradakshina. Walking clockwise in a temple as a form of worship. 

Prakriti. Materialized nature. It is the basis of the three Gunas. 

Prana. The body's energy. Spirit. Breath. Similar to the Kabalistic "Ruach". 

Prana-pratishtha. Life-implacing. Techniques to manifest "life" within an 


Prajna. True wisdom. A higher mode of knowing. 

Prasada. Peace. Tranquility. An offering of food. Pravritti. Worldly life. 

Evolution. A flowing forth, unfolding what is within. Opposite of Nivritti. 

Prayoga. Application (uses). 


Preya. That which is pleasing to the senses. 

Puja. Magick. Worship. 

Pujari. Priest. 

Purana. "Ancient". A class of Sanskrit scriptures concerning Brahma, Vishnu 

and Shiva written for the masses. There are 18 Puranas. 

Purnima. Full Moon. Guru Purnima: The day reserved for homage to Guru. A 

festival, related to the element of Spirit. Occurs in late July or early August. 

Purusha. Pure, unmanifested consciousness. 


Rajas. Guna of activity. Menstrual blood. 

Rasa. The elixir in Alchemy. "Liquid". "Mercury". Sense of taste. Dance of 

Krishna and the Gopis. 

Rasi-Chakra. Zodiac. Rasi means 1/12 division of the zodiac. 

Raurava. A terrible underworld. 

Ridgepole. Fluid yet equipose line existing between the two states of active and 


Rishi. A Seer. Sage. Maharishi means great sage. 

Ritu. Rite or ceremony. Time between a woman's menstrual flow. The menses. 

Roga. Disease. 

Rupa. Outward appearance. Beauty. Image. 

Sadhaka. A follower of a Sadhana. A magician. 

Sadhana. "Direct way". A ritual. A spiritual discipline. 

Sadhu. Holy man. Ascetic. Yogi. 

Sahaja. Spontaneity. Shaktis spontaneously created. Joy. Naturalness. 

Amorality. Giving all worldly things divine status. 

Sahaja Chakra. Circle or Sphere of Spontaneity. Sahaja is one of the three 

gems of the Nathas. Samarasa and Sama are the other two. 

Sahajiya. Doctrine of nature. Doctrine of spontaneity. Sa Ham/So Ham. "I am 


she" or "I am he". Sound of the breath. See: Hamsa. 

Sahodara. Brother or sister. 

Sama. Equipoise consciousness. A state in which all is viewed equally. Balance. 

The same. Equal. 

Samadhi. Complete contemplation where the mind and soul attain close 

relationship and understanding. Can lead to Samarasa. 

Samadrishti. "Equal vision". Seeing all things as equal. Samarasa. Where the 

yogi(ni) sees himself (herself) as the world and the world as being in himself 

(herself). Perfect assimilation within oneself. Equipoise in feelings. Mind at rest. 

Sama Veda. Veda of chants. One of the four Vedas. 

Samhita. Mystic union. 

Sampradaya. Lineage. Tradition. Sect. 

Samsara. The wheel or ocean of life and death. Wheel of time. Combinations of 

Shiva's 3 Shaktis which create diversity in the cosmos. 'All together flowing 

Samskara. A mental impression produced by past experiences, mental or 

behavioral patterns. 

Samvit. Consciousness. 

Sandhi. Joints in the human frame. Body power zones found where two lines 

meet on the Shri Chakra (compare with marmas). They are 24 in number. Dawn 

and Dusk (the twilights). 

Sandhya. See Sandhi. 

Sandhya Bhasha. Twilight language. Similar to the style of some Kabalistic 

works, it refers to writings which seem to mean one thing, while actually 

signifying something else. This can use very figurative writing (such as in the 

Zohar) or very brief basics which need to be expanded upon (such as in the 

Sepher Yetzirah). 

Sandoha. Assemby Point for Naths and Kaulas. 

Sangsara. See: Samsara 

Sannyasin. One who rejects society to devote himself or herself to intellectual 

and spiritual culture. 

Sattvas. Guna of reconciliation between action and passivity. Peace. Law. 

Satya. Truth. Reality. 

Shabda. Vibrational energy manifesting as sound. Includes physical or "struck" 

sound and internal, silent unstruck" sound. 

Shajasamadhi. Highest form of Samadhi. 

Shakinis. Witch- spirits. 


Shakti. An Energy or Power of supreme Shiva. Feminine counterpart to each of 

the Gods of the Hindu pantheon, especially of Shiva . The power, drive and force 

within a person. 

Shambhala. Cave complex under the Himalayas from a ruined Gobi Desert area 

society. Their traditions include: Working the left-hand path; Doing Tantrik 

Magick; The study of science and yoga. It is said that the next avatara will come 

from Shambhala. Compare with Agarthi. 

Shambu. "Horn of Plenty". A title of Shiva. 

Shanti. Peace. Tranquility. Often repeated 3 times after a prayer. 

Shastra. Compendium or collection of knowledge. 

Shava. Corpse. "Shiva is Shava without Shakti". 

Shishya. Disciple or neophyte. 

Shiva. Lord of Withdrawal. Represents pure consciousness. Possesses 3 Shaktis 

or Powers: Iccha (Will), Jnana (Knowledge), and Kriya (Doing). 

Shloka. Short verse. 

Shri. Auspicious. Holy. Beauty. 

Shri Chakra. Two dimensional form of the Supreme Goddess. 

Shrim. Mantra of Lakshmi Shakti, also known as Shri. Pronounced "Shreem". 

Shukra. Semen. 

Shula. Spear. 

Shunya. "Zero". A yoni symbol. 

Shushupti. The state of dreamless sleep in which distinctions between knower 

and known are abolished. 

Siddha. A perfect or realized or enlightened being. One who possesses Siddhis. 

Siddhi. Magickal or spiritual power for the control of self, others and the forces 

of nature. 

Sloka. See: Shloka. 

Smashanam. Cremation ground. 

Soma. Nectar of Ecstasy. Lunar deity. Any of 24 types of psychoactive plants 

given in the Vedas. 

Spanda. Vibration. 

Sphota. Sound; vibration from which the phenomenal world emanated. 

Sri. See: Shri. 

Sthitaprajna. One established in Spiritual Wisdom. 

Sukha. Pleasure. 

Sulphur. Menses. 


Sunyata. The void. The abyss. 

Suras. Gods. 

Sushumna. Main nadi. It runs vertically through the spine. 

Sushupti. Deep dreamless sleep. 

Suta. A famous Brahmin Rishi of antiquity. 

Sutra. "Thread". An aphorism. A book of aphorisms. 

Suvasini. "Fragrant woman'. Priestess in some Tantrik rites. Shakti of the 


Svaha. "Hail" (greeting or honoring). 

Svapushpa. Menses. 

Svarupa. The true nature of things. 

Svecchacharya. The path of doing one s own Will. 

Swapna. Dream state consciousness. 

Swasti. "It is well". "May it be auspicious". A power phrase. 

Tamas. Guna of rest, passivity. 
Tankas. Banners. 

Tantra. A system of spiritual beliefs and practices said to be derived from 
Sanskrit Roots signifying: "body" because of its emphasis on bodily activities; 
"stretch" because it extends the faculties of humans; "Rope" because it secures 
the devotee to diety; "Harp" for the music and beauty of its philosophy; 
"Interiorness" for the secrecy of its doctrine; "Loom" suggesting the 2 cosmic 
principles, male and female, that make up the warp and woof of the woven 
fabric of the universe. 

Tapas. "Asceticism". "Heat". A psychic glow as a result of arousing and 
controlling the psycho-sexual energy of the body. 
Tarpana. Liquid oblation. 

Tattva. "Things". Principle. Truth. Element. Essence. 
Temenos. Sacred zone. 

Tika. Mark on forehead signifying commitment to a spiritual ideal. 
Tirtha. Sacred bathing place. Power zone. 
Treta Yuga. Third great period of Time. 

Tridandin. A member of the Brahmin caste who has retired from worldly life. 


Triple Blessing. "Shanti, Shakti, Shambhu." It means, Peace, Power, Plenty." 
Tripura. "3 Cities". A Form of Lalita. Her 3 cities are her Shaktis or Powers. 
Tripurasundari. See: Lalita. The Triple Goddess. Composed of Bala (the 
young virgin), Sundari (the mother of the universe), and Bhairavi (the crone). 
Twilight Worship. Puja at dawn, midday, sunset and midnight. 


Udbhava. Type of menstrual blood. 

Umbra. "Shadow". "Shade". Archaic meaning: something or some entity which 

accompanies a person or thing. Therefore, a guardian spirit; an attendant 

phantom, present but not visible. 

Upadhi. Similar to Maya. The illusion we place over reality. Smash Upadhi and 

enlightenment occurs. 

Upanishad. "The sitting down at the feet of a teacher to listen to his words." 

Secret or Esoteric doctrine. Oral lore. There are said to be 108 Upanishads. It is 

either genuine magickal lore or it is not a true Upanishad. They are not a 

religion. The two basic types are Agamic (Tantrika) Upanishads and Vedic 


Upeksha. Indifference. Beyond caring. 

Vairagya. Freedom from desire. Detachment. 
Vajra. Adamantine. In the Nath tradition it means "that which 
survives all". The Alpha Ovule. Shiva. A double trident. Signifies the 
human body. 

Vajrini. Tiny duct carrying prana within the subtle body. 
Vama. Left. Woman. Excrement. What is vomited forth. 
Vama-Chara. See: Vama Marg. 

Vama Marg(a). Left turning path. Reversal of conventional concepts 
of spirituality. Methods which are quicker and more direct. 


Vashat. Well done. 

Vatuka. The Little Brahmin, or the virginal knower of the Absolute. 
An aspect of Shiva. 

Veda. "Knowledge". "Ritual lore". Usually applied to the texts of the 
orthodox Aryans. These four principle Vedas are the Rig, Yajur, Sama 
and Atharva. In the current Kali Yuga there are so many contradictory 
interpretations of fragmented and corrupted Vedic texts that they have 
become irrelevant. The true "scriptures" for this age are the Tantras. 
Vedika. Square area for worship. 
Vetala. Vampire. 

Vidya. "Knowledge". A "Female Mantra" or Goddess in the form of 

Vidya Gupta. Secret oral traditions. Compare with Kabalah. 
Vina. A type of stringed musical instrument. 
Viparit-karani. "Opposite Doing". Doing actions contrary to the 
social norm-thus, eating beef in India (a taboo) is used as Viparit- 
karani in some Tantrik rituals. 

Viparita Maithuna. Ritual sexual intercourse with the female 

Vira. "Hero". An initiate or aspirant for higher, spiritual life. One who 
is on the path of the Kaulanaths. 

Virabhava. Ritual sexual intercourse of a Sadhaka and his Shakti. It 
also means heroic disposition as Divyabhava means celestial 
disposition and Pashubhava means herd-like disposition. 
Viraga. "Without desire". Indifference to pleasure and pain. 
Vishnu. Lord of Maintenance. 
Vyoma-Malini. Shakti of Space garlanded with Flowers of Creation. 

Yajaka. High Priest. 


Yaksha. A species of mythological beings who are the attendants of Kubera, 

God of Wealth. The female Yaksha is a Yakshini. 

Yama. God of Death, also known as Dharmaraja. Self control of thoughts and 


Yantra. Energized glyph or symbol such as a mandala. Said to have a life of its 

own. Devi in geometrical or patterned form. 

Yavanacharya.'The Greek Teacher". Pythagoras. 

Yoga. "Union", "Yoke". The transformation of the mind complex and its 

activity leading to higher spiritual levels. In the West it is a frequent misnomer 

for Hatha Yoga. 

Yogaja. The Shaktis created from the spiritual work of a Yogi. 

Yogi. One who has mastered himself and controls his senses. 

Yogin. See: Yogi. 

Yogini. A female Yogi. A woman adept. Also a synonym for a Shakti in both 

celestial and earthly senses. 

Yoni. Female sexual organ. 

Yuga. "Age". "Aeon". There are said to be 4 (Satya, Treta, Dvapara and Kali) 

Yugas. We are in the last or Kali Yuga. 

Zonule. A small zone. A power area. 



Cosmic Dance of Lord Shiva - Introduction along Shiva's effigy 


Lord Shiva - The Sensuous Yogi 


Cosmic Dance of the Lord Shiva (history, spirituality and attributes) 


The Sacred Feast Mahashivratri 


The Inique Attributes of Lord Shiva for meditation and contemplation 


Physical attributes 


Spirituality, Myths, Legends and Ritual Theory 


The Iconography of the Lord Shiva 


Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu, only the Time-Bound Manifestations of the 


Timeless Supreme; Shiva precedes Trinity-Partners 

Shiva in later Vedic Cult and in the Mahabharata 


Shiva's Pre- Aryan Origin 


Shiva in Vedic Pantheon; Shiva in Myths and Legends 


Brahma Chastised and Shiva's Repentance 


Shiva, the Bholanath in the Real Sense of the Term 


Shiva in Saumya and Raudra-rupas 


The Shiva Lingam - Images of Cosmic Manhood in Art and Mythology 


The Two Images of Lord Shiva 


Worship of the Lingam 


Devotional Chants and Prayers: How to pray intelligently! 


Lord Shiva - Prayer One, Two 


Lord Shiva - Prayer Three 


Powerful Lord Shiva Mantras 


Shiva Panchakshara Stotram (Roman Transliteration) 


One-hundred and Eight Names of Lord Shiva 


A very nice prayer for Lord Shiva in English 


Review on Samadhi as in Hinduism 


Short Biography of the Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi 


Prasad to Lord Shiva - General Introduction tp Prasad 


Another form, of Prasad: Charanamrit 


In the kitchen of the Gods and Goddesses 


How to offer Prasada? 


What is necessary or not for Prasad to Lord Shiva? 


Abhisheka, and how it is prepared for celebration 


Shiva Shakti Tradition - The Inner Wisdom of the Hindu Tandrism 


Magickal Armours - Kavachas 


The Nitya Armour 


Food, Flowers and Perfume 


Food and Liquids 



Flowers, Scents, Perfumes and Incenses 


The Tantrik Gayatri 


The Guru 


Shrimad Guru Paduka Stotra 


Tantrik Ritual - Puja 


Inner Worship (antaryaga) 


Malas or Rosaries 


Mantras and Vidyas - Godhead as sound 


Bija Mantras 


Meditation (Dhyana) 


Nyasa - divinity in the body 


The Thirty- six Tattvas 


Yantra and Pranapratishta 


Installation of Life in a Shri Yantra 


Internal meditations 


Tantrik Ritual - Puja 


Sexuality in the Tantrik tradition 


The Vira Sadhana 


Ecstasy, Equipoise and Eternity 


Kali Tradition - Shri Durga Devi 


Shri Guhyakali Devi 


Hamsah Shodha Upanishad 


Shri Kalika Devi 


The Hundred Names of Kali 


The Heart of Kali 


The Kali Nityas 


Ugraprabha: The Eighth Nitya 


Ghana, the Eleventh Nitya 


The Kali Yantra 


Shri Mahakala Deva 


Hymn to Mahakala Shani Mrityunjaya 


The Shyama Upanishad 


Shrikula - Lalita Tradition - The Five Limbs (Panchanga) of Bala 


Shri Bala Paddhati; Armour of Shri Bala Tripurasundari 


The Thousand Names of Bala 


Shri Bala Stotra 


Bhavana Upanishad and Prayoga 


Abstract of Dakshinamurti Samhita 


The Fifteen Nityas 


Gandharva Tantra 


Jnanarnava Tantra 


Shri Kurukulla Devi 



Lalita Tripurasundari, the Red Goddess 


The Nine Mandalas of the Shri Yantra 


Yantra Mantra Tantra of Lalita 


The Various Mandalas of Shri Yantra 


The Vidya (Mantra); the Sixty-four Kaula Tantras 


The Nine Nathas 


The Four Oceans; The Nine Bodily Dhatus; The Island of Nine Gems; 


The Fifteen Nitya Shaktis 

Lalita as the Whole Universe; Fifty-one Ganesas and 51 letters 


Planets; Twenty-seven Nakshatras; Yoginis; 





Fifty-one Pithas; The Nadis; Marmas 


Sandhis: Meaning of Kula; The Weapons of Lalita; 


in Shri 



The Fifteen Syllable Mantra and the small paragraphs 


Breath is Time; Ritual Accessories (Upachara); 


of the 



Gayatri; Esoteric Meaning of Vidya; Sound 


Meditation on Lalita 




Lalita' s Paradise Island 


The Philosophy of Tripura Tantra 


Rajarajeshvari Kavacha 


Mahashodha Nyasa 


Shri Chakra Nyasa 


Shri Nathanavaratnamalika 


Shri Vidya Ratna Sutras 


Shrin Puja 


Shri Shoshika Devi 




Shri Varahi Devi 


Yakshinis and Chetakas also the Patala's 


Shiva Mahimna Stotra 


Contemplative Sexuality 


Maithuna, the Art of Sacred Sex Practice 


The Gorakhbodh 







Gita Satsang Ghent, Belgium 

© November 2012 - Philippe L. De Coster, Ghent, Belgium 

(Non commercial, for personal and satsang use only)